As individuals and nations increasingly recognize that high levels of knowledge and skills are essential to their success, spending on education is increasingly considered an investment in the collective as well as individual future. Investment in human capital has thus moved to centre stage in the strategies of WEI countries to promote economic prosperity, better-skilled labour forces, social cohesion and other positive individual and social benefits. However, investment in education competes with other public and private demands and often faces severe constraints. The challenge of expanding education systems while maintaining education quality and equity-related aims seems inextricably linked to questions of education finance.
This volume is the third in a series of publications that seeks to analyse the education indicators developed through the OECD/UNESCO World Education Indicators (WEI) programme. The volume examines both the investments and returns to education and human capital. It begins by looking at the results of a specially commissioned study of the impact of human capital on economic growth in WEI countries which shows new findings relative to those found in studies of OECD Member states. It also sets out the context for trends in educational attainment as well as current levels of educational participation and expenditure in WEI countries. The report addresses the financing of education systems by examining spending and investment strategies in WEI countries from both public and private perspectives. It looks at the rationale for public spending, how public resources are distributed across levels of education and the role of the private sector both as a provider of educational services and a source of educational expenditure. A national statistical profile that sets out selected contextual and finance indicators against both OECD and WEI benchmarks, together with a comprehensive statistical annex covering both WEI and OECD countries, complements the analysis.
The countries participating in the OECD/UNESCO WEI programme are: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Malaysia, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and Zimbabwe.
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