How Australia stacks up in new OECD report

Each year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) releases their ‘Education at a Glance’ report, covering data from all 34 OECD countries, including Australia. The report is a source of information on the state of education around the world, providing data on topics including participation in education, the impact of learning and resources invested in education.

The 2015 edition features data and insights into global education, as well as country specific highlights and comparisons among countries. At 568 pages, the report is quite lengthy so here are a few points that we believe are relevant for Australian secondary education professionals:

  1. Globally, there continues to be a strong correlation between attainment of higher education levels and employment, as well as mental and physical health. As stated in the report, ‘in the labour market and in life, education is worth the effort’. We couldn’t agree more.
  2. Australia’s expenditure per secondary student is higher than the OECD average ($10,165 USD compared to $9,518 USD). This greater investment in education for Australian students means they’ll have increased access to resources when compared to their foreign counterparts. The implication is that teachers’ capabilities are increased with access and thee burdens placed on them are lessened as students can access different ways of learning.
  3. Australia’s student-to-teacher ratio is slightly under the OECD average (12 students compared to the average 13 per teacher). This means that Australian students have a greater chance to interact with, and receive attention from, their teacher.
  4. Australia’s enrolment rate in early education has shown an increase from previous years. The report explores the advantages of this fact, indicating that early childhood education has links to better school performance in later years of schooling. This trend could indicate an improvement in primary and secondary school results later down the track – something for us to keep an eye on!

To learn more about the OECD’s ‘Education at a Glance’, or education on a global scale, the report (and its various summaries) can be found here. Find any other useful details from the report? Let us know in the comments section below!