16/06/2005 - These new publications from the OECD’s Education Directorate are available from the OECD’s Media Relations Department or through SourceOECD, accessible to journalists via the OECD’s password-protected website.
1. From Education to Work: A Difficult Transition for Young Adults with Low Levels of Education reports on a project directed jointly by the OECD and Canadian Policy Research Networks on young adults with low levels of education in 25 OECD countries and the conditions that hinder or assist their transition from education to work.
Social class, ethnicity and gender influence chances for economic and social success: but increasingly, they do so by affecting access to and success in education. The rise of information and communication technologies, the global marketplace, and greater personal responsibility and autonomy in all aspects of life, have made knowledge and skills essential to economic success.
Young people with low qualifications run a higher risk of long-term unemployment, or unstable and unfulfilling jobs. From Education to Work calls for early intervention to reduce the risk of young people leaving school early and recommends that policy responses be tailored, among other things, to the characteristics of national labour markets.
2. Education Policy Analysis reviews alternatives to traditional universities in OECD countries and explores other new issues in the world of education. Universities no longer have a monopoly over the provision of tertiary education, following the emergence of other institutions, focused in many cases on vocationally or technically oriented degrees. These institutions, though they complement universities, often suffer from lower levels of funding per student. How they articulate with universities – and how students can transfer from one type of institution to another -- is likely to become a critical policy issue.
The growing use of information and communications technologies (ICT) in schools has changed traditional ways of learning, helping to raise the interest of pupils and erasing some inequalities due to a lack of access to information. But barriers to the full integration of ICT remain, both in terms of teachers’ knowledge of how to use them and in the availability of time and resources for their integration into the classroom environment. Educators are urged to link ICT use with other aspects of innovation and school development in order to ensure maximum payback from ICT.
Schools can do much more to promote lifelong learning, both for the young and the adults, than they do at present. Education Policy Analysis explores how school systems, curriculum and teaching approaches can be reshaped to improve motivation, self-directed learning and "learning to learn" skills. It also looks at how tax incentives can be used to encourage employers to invest in learning opportunities for their staff and individuals to take up opportunities for lifelong learning. Taxation of revenues can be graduated to encourage the provision of training opportunities. Education Policy Analysis reviews some countries’ experiences in this area and recommends governments to take a closer look at the potential of tax policy as an instrument to promote lifelong learning.
3. E-learning in Tertiary Education: Where do we stand? E-learning will continue to grow in tertiary education, spurred by technological advances, globalisation and market opportunities. However, after the burst of the dot-com bubble in 2000, scepticism about e-learning has to some extent replaced over-enthusiasm. E-learning in Tertiary Education: Where do we stand? provides a qualitative and quantitative analysis of 19 case studies in 13 countries conducted by the OECD’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) and the U.K.-based Observatory on Borderless Higher Education (OBHE).
Further growth in e-learning can be stimulated by social, organizational and legal changes and, especially in emerging economies, the development of appropriate infrastructures. It also needs staff training and a dialogue between IT providers and educational institutions. This OECD publication calls for research and development in those key policy areas.
For further information and to arrange interviews on specific aspects of these publications, journalists are invited to contact the OECD’s Media Relations Division (Tel: +33 1 4524 9700).