On Sep 20, 2017, Andreas Schleicher, the Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at OECD delivered a lecture entitled “OECD’s Education at a Glance” for IICE’s International Education Podium. The lecture was chaired by Associate Prof. LIU Min and attended by faculty members and graduate students from the IICE.
Mr. Schleicher is also the coordinator of the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the OECD Indicators of Education Systems programme (INES).
Education at a Glance is an annual report issued by OECD to assess and evaluate educational systems of the organization’s member countries and regions. The lecture began by Mr. Schleicher presenting with abundant data such information as educational inputs, teachers’ salaries, class sizes, teacher-student ratios, teaching time and student achievement across nations. Through comparative analysis, Mr. Schleicher analyzed the distinct effectiveness of various education systems in the world. He also summarized the latest trends of education worldwide.
1) The merging of an aging teacher population. For example, the average age of teachers in Italy is above 50 years old. And for India, though it attracts young teachers at their early career stages, retention is not guaranteed.
2) Male teachers not easily found at lower school grades. There is a significant gender difference among teachers, especially at lower school grades. Men are rarely willing to serve as teachers working at lower grades, and Russia, among other countries, has the most severe male teacher shortage at primary schools.
3) Pre-school shifting to an earlier age. Overall, pre-school begins at 4 years old in many countries, and in some few countries, it starts even at 2 years old.
4) Higher education becoming prevalent for 25-34 year olds. Among the youth falling into this age span, most of them choose to study business and management-related subjects. Students’ selection of majors is also related to their parents’ educational backgrounds. In addition, high tuition is another salient feature in many higher education systems, such as in UK. Higher education institutions of different countries tend to employ flexible leverages and mechanism to raise funds and help native students relieve financial burdens (e.g. through loans and scholarship).
5) The growth of the number of international students becoming stable after 2010. Among 2005 to 2010, there was an exponential growth of international students across the globe, which slowed down by the advent of the second decade of 21st century partly due to the extensive application of information technology into the education sector. Online courses brought great convenience for students, which contributed to the slowing down of international students’ mobility.