One in ten students at the master’s or equivalent level is an international student in OECD countries, rising to one in four at the doctoral level.
Today, around 5 million students study and do research in a country other than their own, attracted by the quality of overseas universities and willing to complement their education portfolio with international experience.
Higher level vocational education and training (VET) programmes are facing rapid change and intensifying challenges. What type of training is needed to meet the needs of changing economies? How should the programmes be funded? How should they be linked to academic and university programmes? How can employers and unions be engaged? The country reports in this series look at these and other questions. They form part of Skills beyond School, the OECD policy review of postsecondary vocational education and training.
Qualifications are useful because they make skills visible. It is confidently assumed that the holder of a school-leaving certificate can read and understand instructions, and make calculations, and that those with university degrees can do much more.
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There are an estimated 9 million working aged adults in England (more than a quarter of adults aged 16-65) with low literacy or numeracy skills or both. This reflects England’s overall performance in the Survey of Adult Skills - around average for literacy, but well below average for numeracy relative to other OECD countries in the Survey (OECD, 2013).
One of the most remarkable consequences of the expansion of education in OECD countries over the past decades is the reversal of the gender gap in education. From outright exclusion and discrimination in educational institutions less than a century ago, girls and young women have conquered schools and colleges.
Graduation rates for bachelor’s and master’s degrees have dramatically increased over the past two decades, with 6 million bachelor’s degrees and 3 million master’s degrees awarded in OECD countries in 2013. Although women represent over half of the graduates at the bachelor’s and master’s level, they are still strikingly under-represented in the fields of sciences and engineering.
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In Finland, the numeracy and literacy skills of adults are among the highest in the countries measured through the OECD’s 2012 Survey of Adult Skills. The Survey assessed the skills of adults in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments in 24 countries and sub-national regions in the first round of the Survey.
Education is the key to economic, social and environmental progress, and governments around the world are looking to improve their education systems. The future of education in the 21st century is not simply about reaching more people, but about improving the quality and diversity of educational opportunities. How to best organise and support teaching and learning requires imagination, creativity and innovation.
Open educational resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials that make use of tools such as open licensing to permit their free reuse, continuous improvement and repurposing by others for educational purposes. The OER community has grown considerably over the past 10 years and the impact of OER on educational systems has become a pervasive element of educational policy
This report aims to highlight state of the art developments and practices in OER, but also to demonstrate how OER can be a tool for innovation in teaching and learning.
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This commentary is one of a series of country reports on postsecondary vocational education and training (VET) in OECD countries, prepared as part of an OECD study. The series includes reviews, involving an in-depth analysis of a country system leading to a set of policy recommendations backed by analysis.