The present report on Australia is part of the series on "Investing in Youth", which builds on the expertise of the OECD on youth employment, social support and skills. This series covers both OECD countries and countries in the process of accession to the OECD, as well as some emerging economies. The report provides a detailed diagnosis of youth policies in the area of education, training, social and employment policies. Its main focus is on disengaged or at-risk of disengaged youth.
We must be careful to ensure that G20 growth strategies not only boost growth and jobs, but also address inequalities. This requires win-win policies that combine strong economic growth with improvements in all those aspects of life that matter for people’s wellbeing – good health, jobs and skills, and a clean environment, security, civic engagement, work-life balance, etc...
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In Australia, the proportion of young adults who entered academic tertiary programmes (tertiary-type A) increased by more than 40 percentage points between 2000 and 2012. On average across all OECD countries with comparable data, the increase in entry rates was only 10 percentage points between 2000 and 2012.
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PISA 2012 financial literacy results focusing on the performance of Australia amongst 17 other countries and economies who participated in the assessment: Belgium (Flemish Community), Shanghai-China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Israel, Italy, Latvia, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain and the United States.
Two rounds of the Survey of Adult Skills are under way: Round 1 (2008-13) with 24 participating countries, whose results were released in October 2013, and Round 2 (2012-16) with 9 participating countries, whose results will be released in 2016. A third round is scheduled to begin in May 2014.
Education at a Glance 2013 - Country notes and key fact tables
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This policy profile on education in Australia is part of the new Education Policy Outlook series, which will present comparative analysis of education policies and reforms across OECD countries. Building on the substantial comparative and sectorial policy knowledge base available within the OECD, the series will result in a biannual publication (first volume in 2014).
Education Policy Outlook reviews the current context and situation of the country’s education system and examine its challenges and policy responses.
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Australia’s education system achieves good outcomes overall - attainment of upper secondary education by adults aged 25 to 34 was 85% in 2010, above the OECD average of 82%
The OECD has launched its Skills Strategy to help governments build economic resilience, boost employment and reinforce social cohesion. Despite the pressure on public finances, spending on education and skills is an investment for the future and must be a priority.