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Diagram of the education system

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  • Diagram of education system in country language


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  • Education system in Spain

    Spain
    Overview of the education system (EAG 2018)
  • In Spain, there is no upward intergenerational mobility in educational attainment for 55% of the children of low educated parents who have also not attained an upper secondary education. This is also reflected in the large percentage of young adults in Spain without an upper secondary education: 34% in Spain compared to 15% on average across OECD countries, in spite of significant increase by 25 percentage points in upper secondary first-time graduation rate between 2005 and 2016 (Spanish figure becoming closer to OECD figure: 81% and 87%, respectively).
  • Spain leads in the area of early childhood education enrolment rates: 96% of 3-year-olds are in education compared to 76% on average across OECD countries. Spain also shows a high level of equality between regions with practically no variation in the enrolment rates of 3-year-olds from region to region.
  • As in the majority of OECD countries, fields of study remain gender biased, and only 8% of graduates in upper secondary vocational programmes in engineering, manufacturing and construction are women (OECD average: 11%), while women represent the 77% of secondary graduates in health and welfare in Spain as on average for the OECD.
  • Tertiary students in Spain pay relatively low tuition fees (USD 1 800) for a bachelor's degree in public institutions, but only half of the students receive scholarships or grants: 47% of students in Spain at this level benefit from these financial aids. However, 27% of them received scholarships or grants covering more than just the tuition fees.
  • Spain spends relatively less, as a share of gross domestic product (GDP), at all levels of education (in aggregate, 4%) than the OECD and EU23 averages of 4.5% and 4.2% respectively. Expenditure per student has also fallen between 2010 and 2015, by 11% for non-tertiary education and by 13% for tertiary; this is partly explained by the increase in the number of students at all levels of education for the same period.
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    The following list displays indicators for which your selected country shows the highest and lowest values among countries. The list can be sorted by level of education or by age group. All rankings are calculated including available data from OECD and partner countries. Find out more about the methodology here.

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    Educational outcomes

    The level of upper secondary attainment among 25-34 year-olds is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (66.2 %, rank 38/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The level of below upper secondary attainment among 25-34 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (33.8 %, rank 8/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The level of upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary attainment among 25-34 year-olds is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (23.6 %, rank 42/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The level of upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary attainment among 25-64 year-olds is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (22.7 %, rank 40/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-64 year-olds who have attained a vocational degree at the upper secondary or post-secondary level is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (9.1 %, rank 27/33 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of female graduates from upper secondary vocational programmes is one of the highest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (49.8 %, rank 10/39 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Among OECD countries and partner economies with available data, Spain has one of the highest percentages of young people expected to graduate from tertiary education during their lifetime. (57.9 %, rank 7/27 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The percentage of three-year-olds in early childhood education in Spain is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (96.2 %, rank 8/43 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The percentage of four-year-olds in early childhood and primary education in Spain is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (96.4 %, rank 8/43 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Spain, the number of expected years in education between ages 15 and 29 is comparatively high. (7.7 %, rank 8/39 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Spain, the number of expected years in education for men between ages 15 and 29 is comparatively high. (7.6 %, rank 7/39 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Spain, the number of expected years in education for women between ages 15 and 29 is comparatively high. (7.8 %, rank 10/39 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate of 20-24 year-olds in Spain is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (49.3 %, rank 10/40 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Spain, the average age of new entrants into doctoral programmes is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (34.5 Years, rank 4/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Intergenerational mobility

    The share of 25-64 year-old adults without upper secondary education among those whose parents have also not attained upper secondary education is comparatively high in Spain. (55 %, rank 3/27 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-64 year-old adults with tertiary education among those whose parents have not attained upper secondary education is comparatively high in Spain. (24.4 %, rank 10/27 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-64 year-old adults without upper secondary education among those for whom at least one parent has attained tertiary education is comparatively high in Spain. (8.4 %, rank 5/27 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-64 year-old adults with tertiary education among those for whom at least one parent has also attained tertiary education is comparatively high in Spain. (70.2 %, rank 10/27 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in of the field of health and welfare is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (72.1 %, rank 25/33 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The share of new female entrants to doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction in Spain is relatively low. (7.9 %, rank 28/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of new female entrants to doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of health and welfare in Spain is relatively high. (22.8 %, rank 9/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of new male entrants to doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction in Spain is relatively low. (17 %, rank 29/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Student mobility

    Spain has one of the smallest proportion of international or foreign students enrolled in tertiary education among OECD and partner countries with available data. (2.7 %, rank 34/42 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Classroom environment

    The ratio of students to teaching staff at the upper secondary level is especially low. (10.7 Ratio, rank 30/39 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Expenditure per student

    In Spain, total public expenditure on pre-primary educational institutions as a percentage of total public expenditure is comparatively low. (82.9 %, rank 22/31 , 2014) Download Indicator

    Expenditure in education and national wealth

    Between 2010 and 2012, the change in expenditure on educational institutions (from primary to tertiary level) as a percentage of GDP, excluding subsidies, is among the smallest of all OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (90 Index, rank 27/31 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Spain, government expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP on primary to tertiary education from final source of funds is relatively low. (3.5 %, rank 30/39 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Public and private expenditure in education

    The share of private expenditure on all levels below tertiary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (13.6 %, rank 7/35 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Spain, public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP is comparatively low. (3.7 %, rank 30/39 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The change between 2005 and 2012 in private expenditure on tertiary educational institutions is one of the largest compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (146 Index, rank 1/27 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Between 2010 and 2012, the change in public expenditure on primary through tertiary educational institutions is comparatively small. (90 Index, rank 29/31 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Spain has one of the smallest shares of public expenditure on primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary educational institutions among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (86.4 %, rank 30/37 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Spain, total public expenditure on primary through tertiary educational institutions as a percentage of total public expenditure is comparatively low. (8.4 %, rank 31/39 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The number of hours per year primary teachers spend teaching in public institutions is comparatively large in Spain. (880 Hours, rank 9/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in pre-primary school is especially small. (176 Days, rank 26/28 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The number of hours per year pre-primary teachers spend teaching in public institutions is comparatively small in Spain. (880 Hours, rank 19/26 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Who the teachers are

    The share of women among teaching staff in pre-primary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (92.6 %, rank 36/39 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (64.5 %, rank 24/31 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The percentage of primary to upper secondary teachers younger than 30 is especially low. (5.5 %, rank 29/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries

    After 15 years of experience, a pre-primary teacher with minimum qualification can expect to have one of the highest salaries among OECD and partner countries with available data. (45069 USD Equivalent, rank 7/26 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Starting salaries for pre-primary teachers with minimum training are especially high. (38987 USD Equivalent, rank 5/29 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Salaries of pre-primary teachers with minimum training after 10 years of experience are especially high. (42217 USD Equivalent, rank 8/27 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Salaries of pre-primary teachers with minimum training at the top of scale are especially high. (55384 USD Equivalent, rank 8/27 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The ratio of pre-primary teachers' salaries at the top of scale to their starting salary is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.42 Ratio, rank 18/27 , 2017) Download Indicator

    It takes lower secondary teachers longer to progress through the salary scale in Spain compared to other OECD and partner countries. (39 Years, rank 2/24 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In pre-primary education, the salary ratio of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of the salary scale to those with minimum training and starting salaries is relatively low. (1.42 Ratio, rank 19/26 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In primary education, the salary ratio of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of the salary scale to those with minimum training and starting salaries is comparatively low. (1.42 Ratio, rank 25/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In lower secondary education, the salary ratio of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of the salary scale to those with minimum training and starting salaries is comparatively low. (1.41 Ratio, rank 25/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In upper secondary education, the salary ratio of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of the salary scale to those with minimum training and starting salaries is relatively low. (1.41 Ratio, rank 25/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    After 15 years of experience, a pre-primary teacher with typical qualification can expect to have one of the highest salaries among OECD and partner countries with available data. (45069 USD Equivalent, rank 7/26 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Employment and educational attainment

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education is comparatively low. (80.9 %, rank 37/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively low. (70.2 %, rank 35/43 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-olds with below upper secondary education is comparatively high. (27.8 %, rank 4/42 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-olds with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively high. (18.4 %, rank 3/43 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-olds with tertiary education is comparatively high. (13.9 %, rank 3/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds without upper secondary education is comparatively high. (23.4 %, rank 4/43 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively high. (15.1 %, rank 3/43 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education is comparatively high. (9.3 %, rank 3/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (71.2 %, rank 27/33 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is relatively low compared to other OECD and partner countries. (69.5 %, rank 29/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is high compared to other OECD and partner countries. (15.7 %, rank 2/33 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds with a general upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is high compared to other OECD and partner countries. (14.6 %, rank 2/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-old men with tertiary education is compartively low in Spain. (79.3 %, rank 42/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-olds with tertiary education is compartively low in Spain. (77.4 %, rank 38/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-34 year-olds with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is compartively low in Spain. (69.2 %, rank 36/43 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Earnings and educational attainment

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (25-64 year-olds with tertiary education and income from employment) are one of the highest among countries with available data. (81.4 %, rank 6/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (25-64 year-olds with income from employment) are one of the highest among countries with available data. (86.8 %, rank 7/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of 25-64 year-old full- and part-time workers without upper secondary education are comparatively low. (73 Index, rank 28/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Neither in education nor employed

    The proportion of 20-24 year-olds who are neither employed nor in education or training is comparatively large in Spain. (23.2 %, rank 8/39 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Migrant background and education status

    The proportion of 25-34 year-olds who have attained tertiary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (27.1 %, rank 25/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-olds without upper secondary education is comparatively low. (71.4 %, rank 28/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education is comparatively low. (82.3 %, rank 25/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Earnings of 25-64 year-old full-time full-year earners with below upper secondary education are comparatively low. (72 Index, rank 19/19 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The percentage of foreign-born 15-29 year-olds neither employed nor in education and training is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (30.4 %, rank 3/29 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The percentage of native-born 15-29 year-olds in education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (54.3 %, rank 6/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The percentage of native-born 15-29 year-olds neither employed nor in education and training is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (17.7 %, rank 6/30 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Governance

    The percentage of decisions taken at the central level or state level of government for public lower secondary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries. (55.2 %, rank 6/16 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of decisions taken at the regional or sub-regional level of government for public lower secondary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries. (21.9 %, rank 2/16 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of decisions taken at the school level of for public lower secondary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries. (10.4 %, rank 29/34 , 2017) Download Indicator


    The data table will display up to six selected countries.
    General findings
    • Adults without tertiary-educated parents face greater challenges to attain tertiary level themselves: Only 21% do compared to 68% among those with at least one tertiary-educated parent.
    • While there is little difference on average between the level of tertiary attainment among native-born and foreign-born adults, there are large variations across countries. In Mexico the tertiary attainment of foreign-born adults is more than double that of native-born. In contrast, native-born adults in Slovenia are almost twice more likely to have attained tertiary education than their foreign-born peers.
    • The gender gap favors girls in education but men in the labour market: 50% of 25-34 year-old women attained tertiary education in 2017 compared to 38% of men. However the employment rate of tertiary-educated young women is about 9 percentage points less than for men and they earn only 74% as much as men with similar educational attainment on average across OECD countries.
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    • In 2015, OECD countries spent on average around 5% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on educational institutions from primary to tertiary levels , with variations across countries from 3.1% in the Russian Federation to 6.4% in Norway.
    • On average, OECD countries spend USD 10 391 a year on educational institutions to educate each student from primary to tertiary education. This represents about USD 8 600 per student at primary level, USD 9 900 at secondary level and USD 15 500 at tertiary level.
    • Primary and secondary education accounts for almost 70% of total expenditure on primary to tertiary educational institutions, or around 3.5% of GDP, on average across OECD countries.
    • In 2015, public funding represented more than 80% of total expenditure on primary to tertiary educational institutions across the OECD countries, varying from 62% in Colombia to 99% in Norway. However only two thirds of total expenditure is financed through public sources on tertiary institutions on average across OECD countries.
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    • In most countries, teachers above 50 years of age make up more than a third of the teaching force.
    • While the teaching profession is dominated by women, the share of female teachers decreases with the level of education taught: almost all teachers at the pre-primary level are women; however they make up less than half of the teaching force at tertiary level.
    • On average across OECD countries, statutory salaries of teachers at the top of their salary scales (and maximum qualifications) are between 77% and 81% higher than starting salaries (with minimum qualifications).
    • Teachers’ actual salaries at pre-primary, primary and general secondary levels of education are 82% to 96% of earnings of tertiary-educated workers on average across OECD countries.
    • While the average actual salary of primary and secondary female teachers is equal to or higher than the average earnings of full-time, tertiary-educated working women, primary and secondary male teachers earn between 77% and 88% of the average earnings of full-time, tertiary-educated working men.
    • Based on official regulations, public school teachers in OECD countries and economies are required to teach on average 1 030 hours per year at pre-primary level, 771 hours at primary level, 693 hours at lower secondary level (general programmes) and 646 hours at upper secondary level (general programmes).
    • On average across OECD countries, there are 15 students per teacher in primary education, 13 students per teacher in secondary education and 15 students per teacher in tertiary education.
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    • On average across OECD countries, 75% of children aged 3 are enrolled in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC).
    • At age 4, on average across OECD countries, almost 88% of children are enrolled in pre-primary education.
    • Annual expenditure per child in early childhood development programmes was greater than in pre-primary education in 2015 on average across OECD countries.
    • Public funds represent a higher share of total expenditure at pre-primary level than on early childhood development programmes.
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    • The share of first-time upper secondary graduates with a vocational qualification varied from 6% in Canada to 78% in Austria in 2016 with an average of 41% across OECD countries.
    • In 2016, across OECD countries, teaching hours for upper secondary, general programmes vary greatly from 405 hours in Denmark to 1064 hours in Chile with an average of 655 hours.
    • In 2016, the ratio of students to teaching staff in public upper secondary educational institutions across OECD countries varies from 9 in Portugal to 22 in Mexico with an average of 13 across OECD countries.
    • The employment rate for adults with upper secondary education is 18 percentage points higher than for those without. The employment advantage varies from 6 percentage points in Mexico to more than 30 percentage points in the Czech and Slovak Republics.
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    • Between 2007 and 2017, the share of tertiary-educated young adults increased by 10 percentage points on average across OECD countries.
    • In 2015, OECD countries spent on average around 1.5% of their gross domestic product (GDP) on tertiary educational institutions, ranging from 0.5% in Luxembourg to 2.6% in the United States.
    • On average in OECD countries, 59% of young adults will enter a bachelor’s degree or equivalent programme in their lifetime while 24% are expected to enter a master’s or equivalent programme.
    • While there are large variations across countries, international and foreign students account for 6% of total enrolment in tertiary programmes and reach more than a quarter of enrolments at doctoral level on average across OECD countries.
    • Tertiary-educated adults are more likely to be employed and earn about 55% more than those with upper secondary education on average across OECD countries.
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    Key
    Country Reviews for Spain

    Note: These values should be interpreted with care since they are influenced by countries' specific contexts and trade-offs. In education, there is often no simple most- or least-efficient model. For instance, the share of private expenditure in education must be read against other measures designed to mitigate inequities, such as loans and grants; longer learning time is an opportunity to convey more and better content to students, but may hinder investments in other important areas. If you want further information on the nature of different variables, please take the time to read the analysis and contextual information, available at the website for each publication.
    All rankings for individual variables are compiled on the basis of OECD and G20 countries for which data are available. The OECD average includes only OECD countries which are listed here: http://www.oecd.org/about/membersandpartners/

    *TALIS averages are based on all countries participating in the TALIS survey, including partner countries and economies. This explains the difference between the OECD average and the TALIS average. Data from the TALIS survey and Education at a Glance (EAG) may differ. See Annex E of the TALIS technical report and Annex 3 of EAG 2017 for more details about the data collections.

    For additional notes, please refer to annexes in the list of links below the introductory country profile text.