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  • 20-February-2024

    English

    How 15-Year-Olds Learn English - Case Studies from Finland, Greece, Israel, the Netherlands and Portugal

    This report takes the reader into the lives of young people in Finland, Greece, Israel, the Netherlands and Portugal to explore the question: how do 15-year-olds learn English? Gone are the days when learners only encountered English for a couple of hours a week in a classroom. For today's teens, English is often the preferred language of communication in increasingly diverse online and offline communities. Yet relatively little is known internationally about how students learn English inside and outside school, and the resources available to help them. This report presents country findings from interviews with 15-year-olds, English-language teachers and school principals and wider background research, as well as a comparative chapter on key international insights. The report also explores how today’s digital technologies can support learners to develop foreign language proficiency. These findings support the forthcoming PISA 2025 Foreign Language Assessment through which the OECD will generate comparable data on students’ proficiency in English in different countries and on the factors related to it.
  • 14-December-2023

    English

    Micro-credential policy implementation in Finland, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Spain

    Smaller, more targeted, and more flexible than traditional education and training programmes, micro-credentials have become a prominent feature of education, training and labour market policy discussions in recent years. Several OECD countries have already started the development of national micro-credential ecosystems, and many others are looking to follow suit. This OECD Education Policy Perspective serves as Part B in a two-part series of summary papers. The first publication, Paper A, examined the evolving landscape of micro-credentials, with a particular focus on the development of public policies that can foster effective utilisation of micro-credentials for lifelong learning, upskilling and reskilling. This publication, Paper B, presents case studies from four European Union Member States – Finland, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Spain. The document was authored by Roza Gyorfi and Shizuka Kato from the OECD Higher Education Policy Team and Thomas Weko from George Washington University.
  • 5-September-2023

    English

    The future of Finland’s funding model for higher education institutions

    This policy brief was prepared as part of the OECD's Resourcing Higher Education Project. This wider project aims to provide a shared knowledge base for OECD member and partner countries on policy for higher education resourcing, drawing on system-specific and comparative policy analysis. The policy brief for Finland was developed at the request of the Finnish authorities to support reflection on possible adjustments to the public funding model for Finnish higher education for the funding period (2025-28). The brief reviews the key challenges facing higher education in Finland and national policy priorities, compares Finland’s model of funding higher education institutions (HEIs) with models in OECD systems sharing similar characteristics to Finland’s and reviews policy options – both within and outside of the funding model – to support achievement of key policy objectives.
  • 14-June-2023

    English

    The demand for language skills in the European labour market - Evidence from online job vacancies

    This paper investigates the demand for language skills using data on online job vacancies in 27 European Union member countries and the United Kingdom in 2021. Evidence indicates that although Europe remains a linguistically diverse labour market, knowing English confers unique advantages in certain occupations. Across countries included in the analyses, a knowledge of English was explicitly required in 22% of all vacancies and English was the sixth most required skill overall. A knowledge of German, Spanish, French and Mandarin Chinese was explicitly demanded in between 1% and 2% of all vacancies. One in two positions advertised on line for managers or professionals required some knowledge of English, on average across European Union member countries and across OECD countries in the sample. This compares with only one in ten positions for skilled agricultural, forestry and fishery workers and among elementary occupations.
  • 16-March-2023

    English

    Schools as hubs for social and emotional learning - Are schools and teachers ready?

    Schools are perfect hubs for social and emotional learning, but are they ready for this task? To address this question, this Spotlight reports previously unpublished findings from the OECD’s Survey on Social and Emotional Skills (SSES) and discusses their implications for education policy and practice. Both an active promotion in schools and extensive learning opportunities for teachers on relevant topics provide a fertile ground for an effective social and emotional education. They boost teachers’ self-efficacy and use of active learning pedagogies, as well as quality relationships at school. The Spotlight also points to important differences for teachers of 10- vs. 15-year-old students that can explain higher skills at a younger age. Younger students benefit more often from key elements of an effective social and emotional education in school, i.e. the evaluation of their social and emotional skills and teachers teaming up with parents to reinforce skill promotion. Teachers of 10-year-olds are also more intensively trained and requested to promote social and emotional learning in their work.
  • 15-November-2022

    English

    Swimming skills around the world - Evidence on inequalities in life skills across and within countries

    Being able to swim empowers individuals to make choices, have agency, and be free to choose core aspects of their life, such as working safely on or near water. It is also associated with lifelong health benefits and reduces the risk of drowning. Using data from the Lloyd’s Register Foundation World Risk Poll 2019, this paper provides the first global estimates of adults’ ability to swim without assistance. Individuals in high-income countries are considerably more likely to report being able to swim without assistance than individuals in low-income countries. Disparities also exist within countries. In particular, women are less likely to be able to swim without assistance than men in virtually all countries, birth cohorts, and levels of education. Investing in reducing inequalities in life skills, such as swimming, can foster economic development and empowerment, especially in light of threats, such as climate change.
  • 8-November-2022

    English

    Understanding how economic conditions and natural disasters shape environmental attitudes - A cross-country comparison to inform policy making

    Understanding adults’ attitudes towards the environment is necessary to gauge the opportunities and challenges of creating effective and politically-feasible climate policies. Using data from the Wellcome Global Monitor 2020, the European Social Survey (Round 8), World Values Survey and EM-DAT, this paper examines how adults’ environmental attitudes vary within and across countries and details how environmental attitudes are associated with adults’ engagement in pro-environmental behaviours and support for environmentally-friendly policies. The paper explores whether the extent to which individuals prioritise the environment over the state of the economy or vice versa depends on individuals’ exposure to natural disasters or negative labour market conditions. Results indicate that people’s economic vulnerability and the sectors they work in impact their attitudes towards their environment and support for public policy. Furthermore, the findings suggest that increases in unemployment and exposure to natural disasters influence the extent to which individuals prioritise the environment.
  • 29-September-2022

    English

    Finland’s Right to Learn Programme - Achieving equity and quality in education

    Finland has been widely regarded as one of the most successful education systems in the world. However, recent trends suggest that Finland’s considerable achievements may be at risk. The country’s performance in international student assessments has been declining over the past decade, as gaps among student groups and levels of school segregation have grown. In light of these developments, Finland is advancing a number of policies, notably under the umbrella of the Right to Learn (RtL) Programme, to improve quality and equity in early childhood education and care (ECEC), pre-primary and basic education. This analysis explores the Ministry of Education and Culture’s (OKM) planned reforms in regard to the country’s main education challenges and priorities. At the request of the Ministry, the analysis focusses on three main policy issues: (i) financing equity and quality in education, (ii) expanding participation and strengthen quality in ECEC, and (iii) equalising education opportunities through strengthening the local school policy. A final section looks at some of the cross-cutting issues that emerge from the OECD’s analysis. This analysis offers policy considerations aimed at strengthening the design and implementation of the RtL Programme.
  • 6-September-2022

    English

    The environmental sustainability competence toolbox - From leaving a better planet for our children to leaving better children for our planet

    The paper is the second in a series of two papers mapping young people’s environmental sustainability competence in EU and OECD countries that were prepared as background for the forthcoming OECD Skills Outlook 2023 publication. The papers are the results of a collaboration between the OECD Centre for Skills and the European Commission - Joint Research Centre (Unit B4) on students’ environmental sustainability competence. The first paper is titled ‘Young people’s environmental sustainability competence: Emotional, cognitive, behavioural and attitudinal dimensions in EU and OECD countries.
  • 6-September-2022

    English

    Young people’s environmental sustainability competence - Emotional, cognitive, behavioural, and attitudinal dimensions in EU and OECD countries

    The paper is the first in a series of two papers mapping young people’s environmental sustainability competence in EU and OECD countries that were prepared as background for the forthcoming OECD Skills Outlook 2023 publication. The papers are the results of a collaboration between the OECD Centre for Skills and the European Commission - Joint Research Centre (Unit B4) on students’ environmental sustainability competence. The second paper is titled: ‘The environmental sustainability competence toolbox: From leaving a better planet to our children to leaving better children for our planet’.
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