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Publication: 12/9/2006
ISBN  9264025316
465 Pages


Education at a Glance 2006

Across OECD countries, governments are seeking policies to make education more effective while searching for additional resources to meet the increasing demand for education.

The 2006 edition of Education at a Glance enables countries to see themselves in the light of other countries’ performance. It provides a rich, comparable and up-to-date array of indicators on the performance of education systems and represents the consensus of professional thinking on how to measure the current state of education internationally.

The indicators look at who participates in education, what is spent on it and how education systems operate and at the results achieved. The latter includes indicators on a wide range of outcomes, from comparisons of student’s performance in key subject areas to the impact of education on earnings and on adults’ chances of employment.

The ExcelTM spreadsheets used to create the tables and charts in this book are available via the StatLinks printed in this book.

New material in this edition includes

  • Further analysis of results of the 2003 survey of the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) , including student access to and use of ICT, analysis of the lowest performing students; and the effects on students performance of family background and the way classes are organised in schools
  • Trend data on tertiary qualifications, including projections for the year 2014
  • Trend data on survival rates in tertiary education
  • The impact of demographic trends on education systems, as well as projections on expenditure for the year 2015
  • Trend data on expected years of education
  • Instruction time per subject for 9-to-14-year-olds
  • A picture of student mobility and the significance of internationalisation of higher education

 Executive Summary

Summary of chapters

Chapter A

Chapter A explores the output of educational institutions and the impact of learning. It begins by presenting the overall educational attainment of the population, then examines graduation rates at the upper secondary and tertiary levels of education. Chapter A goes beyond a count of graduates in each system to examine the quality of learning outcomes. The results of PISA 2003 are presented, looking at what 15-year-olds can do in mathematics, as well as at the between- and within-school variation in student performance in mathematics and at the relation between students’ performance and their social background. The chapter also examines the relationship between educational attainment and labour market outcomes and considers the returns to investments in education for individuals and society. It concludes with a look at expected trends in demographics over the next ten years and the anticipated impact on student population size and the provision of educational services.

Chapter B

Chapter B provides a comparative examination of the financial and human resources invested in education. This chapter emphasises trends in spending patterns and it analyses how different demand and supply factors interact and how spending on education, compared to spending on other social priorities, has changed.

Chapter C

Chapter C examines access to education, participation and progression. It gives a picture of the average number of years’ a student can expect to be formally enrolled in education and of the participation rates at the different levels of education, whether full-time or part-time. It also presents data on student mobility and analyses the significance of internationalisation in tertiary education. The chapter concludes with data on educational attainment and the work status of young people and on the participation of labour force members in continuing education and training.

Chapter D

Chapter D examines the factors that shape the teaching and learning environment and that can therefore have an influence on learning outcomes. The chapter begins by considering student learning conditions in terms of the amount of instruction time received in school, student learning time out of school, average class size and student-teacher ratios. The focus then turns to teachers’ working conditions in terms of their teaching and working times and salaries. The chapter concludes with an examination of access and use of information and communication technology in schools, using data drawn from PISA 2003.

How to obtain this publication

Readers can access the full version of Education at a Glance 2006 choosing from the following options:

Tables, annex material and database

News Releases and Press Material


Briefing Notes

PowerPoint Presentations

Multilingual summaries