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 2003 edition of Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators 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 that represent the consensus of professional thinking on how to measure the current state of education internationally.
The focus of the 2003 edition of Education at a Glance is on the quality of learning outcomes, the policy levers and contextual factors that shape these outcomes, and the broader private and social returns that accrue to investments in education. This includes a comparative picture of student performance near the beginning and end of compulsory education that extends to knowledge and skills in important subject areas as well as patterns of learning strategies and engagement in learning. The picture is not limited to aggregate country performance, but also incorporates variations within countries. This allows for an examination of issues of equity in the provision and outcomes of education, on dimensions such as gender, age, socio-economic background, type of institution, or field of education. This report also includes new information on student learning conditions which provides a better understanding of some of the determinants of educational success. This information elaborates on the integration of information and communication technologies in the instructional process, as well as on teacher qualifications, teacher working conditions and other factors affecting teacher demand and supply.
Finally, for many indicators, a significantly larger number of OECD countries are now providing data. Through the World Education Indicators programme, a wide range of non-member countries have also contributed to this year’s edition of Education at a Glance, extending the coverage of some of the indicators to almost two-thirds of the world population.
The thematic organisation of the volume and the background information accompanying the tables and charts make this publication a valuable resource for anyone interested in analysing education systems across countries.
The data underlying the OECD education indicators are accessible via the Internet (www.oecd.org/edu/eag2003).
The companion volume Education Policy Analysis takes up selected themes of key importance for governments.