13 September 2011

OECD releases Education at a Glance 2011

The OECD's Education at a Glance statistics for 2011 were released today. Detailed reading is required to see where we place on international tertiary attainment, for example. Data presented at the OECD conference last June indicated that Canada may not have retained the top spot, though it appears from my initial read of this that we have (Type A and B across all age groups).

In the section on How many Students will Enter Postsecondary Education, there is a good point made regarding the need to grow spaces in PSE, but also to ensure that instruction methods can meet the demands of new types of learners.

There is a strong correlation made on the attainment of tertiary education with innovation and productivity: "Having a more educated work force gave these countries a head-start in many high-skill areas. This  advantage is likely to have been particularly important for innovation and the adoption of new technologies." It is also noted elsewhere that unemployment for those with tertiary education is on average 4%, well below averages for those with no education. In short, "Higher levels of educational attainment typically lead to greater labour participation and higher employment rates."

For colleges, there are some good data and insights on what the OECD terms Vocational education and training (VET)": see pp 122 ff. The data show that this kind of market-oriented education pays good dividends for learners who enter the job market.

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