OECD work with non-OECD economies aims to contribute to their economic growth, social development and good governance practices. This work is crucial to the OECD so that it remains at the cutting edge of policy dialogue and analysis. Although work on education in emerging and transition economies is a high priority in the programme of work of the Directorate for Education, the activities rely almost entirely on voluntary contributions from OECD and non-OECD countries and other institutions.
Many non-OECD countries are involved in different parts of OECD work on education:
There are currently three countries with regular observer status on the Education Policy Committee – the Russian Federation, Egypt and Romania. In recent years Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa have participated as ad-hoc observers.
The Directorate for Education has carried out Reviews of National Policies for Education
in central and eastern European countries, the Russian Federation, China and Latin America and is beginning a series of reviews of sub-Saharan countries in partnership with the Association for the Development of Education in Africa.
The most recent report on China
examined issues of financing and quality of the rapidly expanding tertiary education system.
The volume on Chile
, published in 2004, examined the country’s education system from pre-school through tertiary education and lifelong learning, analysing its economic, social and political impact.
Recommendations from the reviews carried out by the non-member economies unit (NME) have led to activities to respond to specific policy areas:
- In collaboration with the Education and Training Policy Division, NME is currently participating in a project on “Education for Disabled and At-Risk Students in South Eastern Europe”.
- In partnership with the Russian Ministry of Education and Science and the Civilian Research Development Fund, an on-going project to promote research in universities and the management of intellectual property has led to three pilot projects and a number of seminars.
The second OECD Global Forum on Education, "Improving the Effectiveness of Education Systems"
, took place in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on 3-5 March 2008. The forum was attended by 280 participants representing 32 countries, 11 international organisations or national agencies and 57 universities, non-governmental organisations or trade unions. Overall, 43 nationalities were represented (including 19 member countries).
The work of the OECD offers a set of general directions and specific recommendations for policies to address key issues of access, quality and standards in teaching; new directions to diversify and deliver tertiary education; the quality of research in academic and research establishments; and reforms in the governance, management and financing of teaching and research. The non-members unit also maintains close relations with and undertakes joint activities with other international organisations and leading NGOs (World Bank, European Training Foundation, UNICEF, British Council, Open Society Institute, et al.)