OECD survey: Japan's teachers work more hours but teach fewer

Frederick Owens
September 13, 2017

Israel ranked eighth in graduation rates, with 92% graduating in all levels of education, making it one of the most educated populations in the OECD.

Universities New Zealand director Chris Whelan said this was partly because New Zealand had the second-highest proportion of worldwide students - 21% of all tertiary students, compared with 16% in Australia and an OECD average of just 6%.

'Most countries regulate the number of hours per year that teachers are formally required to work, including teaching and non-teaching activities.

The annual Education at a Glance snapshot also shows the financial return to New Zealanders with tertiary qualifications remains low, despite relatively high fees.

New Zealand's performance is mixed.

Israel spends a higher percentage of GDP on its education than most of the developed world.

Private spending, at 1.7% of national income, is the fifth-highest, and the combined total of 6.4% is higher than all other countries except Britain (6.6%) and Denmark (6.5%).

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Teachers in England have seen their salaries cut in real terms by 12 per cent over 10 years' while, on average, their colleagues in other developed countries have seen wages rise, an worldwide comparison report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has revealed.

NZ preschool enrolments are also above average for 3-year-olds (89%) and 4-year-olds (94%), and are substantially above Australia's at all ages. Only India had a higher figure at 38 percent, and the OECD average was 30 percent. In addition, the profession is still largely dominated by women, who make up seven out of 10 teachers on average across OECD countries. In contrast, female teachers in primary and lower secondary education earn virtually the same as women with a tertiary degree in other fields. "Without action to tackle the factors driving teachers out of the profession, the United Kingdom will not be able to sustain the world-class education system needed to compete with the rest of the world". Moreover, about 50% of teachers in these education levels are aged 50 or older, considerably above the OECD averages of 36% in lower secondary and 40% in upper secondary.

The report notes the "New Horizon" reform - which began in 2008 and was nearly fully implemented by 2014 - increased salaries for pre-primary, primary and high-school teachers.

Its report "finds that business, administration and law are the most popular careers in countries surveyed, chosen by around one in four students".

Ireland has a larger share of third-level graduates who studied health and welfare (17 per cent), 5 per cent more than the OECD average.

In New Zealand in 2015, 32 percent of 30 to 44-year-olds without tertiary educated parents had attained a degree or diploma compared to the OECD average of 20 percent.

NEET: One in eight (12.6%) of New Zealanders aged 18 to 24 a year ago were not in employment, education or training (NEET) - worse than Australia (10.9%) but better than the OECD average (15.3%).

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