Education is worth it

OECD study "Education at a Glance"

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People with higher education are less likely to be unemployed than low-skilled. In Germany, higher education protects against unemployment better than in other industrialized countries. These are important findings of the new OECD study "Education at a Glance", which was presented to the public yesterday in Berlin. However, the proportion of the population with a higher level of education in this country is still well below the OECD average. Therefore, Germany drops from 10th to 22nd place in an international comparison.


"Investment in education is investment in the future. The challenges of our time, such as globalization, higher demands on the labor market and demographic change, require us to take full advantage of the potential of qualifications in our country. We must do everything we can to prevent the foreseeable shortage of skilled workers, especially in the technical professions, "commented Federal Education Minister Annette Schavan on the results of the report. "We are launching a National Qualification Initiative this autumn, which will focus on early childhood education, integration, and the significant reduction of early school leaving. Together with the countries, we are on the right path with it ", continues Schavan. The Minister and the President of the Conference of Ministers of Culture, E. Jürgen Zöllner, announced that they will soon present a new framework program for structurally strengthening empirical educational research.

The "Education at a Glance" study focuses on issues of relevance for education policy based on core indicators in the international comparison of the 30 OECD member countries and some partner countries. Key areas of the key figures presented are participation in education and educational success, public and private education expenditure, education and employment, and teaching and learning conditions in schools. The basic data used in this year's report comes mainly from the years 2004 and 2005.

Education more important than ever

After that, investments in education are worthwhile for individuals and society. Those with higher education are less likely to be unemployed than low-skilled and have higher employment rates. For example, in Germany in 2005, the employment rate of men aged 25 to 64 years with a university or equivalent degree was 86 percent, and that of women was 79 percent (OECD average: men 89, women 79 percent). display

By contrast, employment rates are significantly lower for those who have completed upper secondary vocational education - for example, completed apprenticeships - or less. Secondary education accounts for 76 percent of men and 65 percent of women in Germany. With lower secondary education, the employment rate for men is only 62 per cent and for women 45 per cent.

At the same time, according to the report, there is a strong positive correlation between educational attainment and average income. In all OECD countries, people with a university degree earn considerably more than graduates of secondary education, usually more than 50 percent. In Germany, the income advantage for 25- to 64-year-olds with a tertiary education relative to the income from upper secondary education is 51%, which puts them in an international middle position, "Education is worthwhile, and in a twofold sense, " summed up Federal Minister Schavan these results. "A good and highly qualified education is not only in the interest of the entire economic and scientific location, but it is also the key to personal and social success, " says Zllllner.

Number of academics in the OECD is rising

Rising demands of the labor market, the transition to the information and knowledge society and higher education needs of individuals and society have increased internationally the proportion of young people who obtain a university degree. On average, 19 percent of 25- to 64-year-olds in the OECD countries have a university degree, while the OECD average is in the 25-34 age group at 24 percent. Only a few countries have the same share value for both age groups (for example, the US 30 per cent each, Germany 15 per cent each).

At the same time, the average number of new students in the OECD has risen from 37 per cent in 1995 to over 47 per cent in 2000, to 54 per cent in 2005. In Germany, it rose in the same period from 26 percent over 30 percent to 36 percent in 2005. The federal government and federal states are aiming for a significant increase in the number of new students. "The figures for Germany show that it is now important to intensify the joint efforts in order to achieve the self-defined goals, " explained Zllllner.

University Pact decided


To enable a growing number of eligible students to study, the federal and state governments have agreed on a university pact. The Higher Education Pact puts universities in a position financially to absorb a total of more than 90, 000 additional undergraduate and postgraduate students by the year 2005 than in 2005. The federal government will provide around 565 million euros for this in the years 2007 to 2010, and the federal states will ensure the overall financing. In order to ensure equal opportunities for access to higher education, the Federal Government has decided on improvements to the BAf G. In addition to the adjustment of the requirements and the free allowances, a childcare allowance for students with children will be introduced for the first time. Schavan: "With these measures, the Federal Government is making a decisive contribution to the fact that more young people start studying and we reach our 40 percent target."

Professionalization of teachers

Unlike in many other countries, positive and negative attitudes and behavior among students in Germany have less of an impact on math performance. According to the OECD study, the learning situation in Germany is characterized by a disciplined classroom climate as well as a positive social environment of the schools.

"We will continue the work for the further development of mathematics education with modern didactic-methodical approaches and, in particular, a stronger application relevance. The Year of Mathematics 2008 will show further possibilities to make the fascination of mathematics accessible to students ", emphasized Schavan and Zöllner in unison. Currently, the countries are developing common educational concepts and materials for teaching development based on national educational standards for mathematics. In order to provide concrete impulses and teaching practical suggestions, the Institute for Quality Development in Education (IQB) has developed a special handbook series for secondary and elementary schools. In addition, the third and eighth-grade countries will carry out joint learning surveys (comparative work).

(Federal Government online / BMBF, 19.09.2007 - DLO)