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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 Finland

    Finland
    Overview of the education system (EAG 2019)
  • Although the share of tertiary-educated young adults (25-34 year-olds) has increased over the past decade, it remains below the OECD average. Finland's admission system is selective, and around two-thirds of applicants to first-degree tertiary education are rejected.
  • While employment rates are well below average for young adults without an upper secondary education (at 49% compared to 60% on average across OECD countries), they are slightly above average for tertiary-educated adults (at 85%).
  • Finland dedicates an above-average share of its gross domestic product (GDP) to early childhood education and care. However, enrolment remains below the OECD average, especially among younger children.
  • Although their average statutory salaries are below the OECD average, Finnish teachers are more likely to consider that the advantages of being a teacher clearly outweigh the disadvantages.
  • Expenditure per student on tertiary educational institutions is above average, although it has decreased by 9% since 2010.
  • Adults (aged 25-64) in Finland have an above-average participation in cultural or sporting activities and in formal and/or non-formal education, especially for higher levels of educational attainment. They also rank high in terms of work-life balance and flexibility at work.
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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 proportion of 25-64 year-old women who have attained a general degree at the upper secondary or post-secondary level is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (4 %, rank 37/38 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of first-time graduates in vocational programmes at upper secondary level is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (55.1 %, rank 8/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The average age of upper secondary graduates from vocational programmes in Finland is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data (29.2 Years, rank 5/36 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The average age of upper secondary graduates from general programmes in Finland is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data (19.4 Years, rank 7/38 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Attainment by field of education

    The percentage of 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education who studied in the field of educaton is one of the lowest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (6.7 %, rank 28/32 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education who studied in the field of humanities (except languages), social sciences, journalism and information is one of the lowest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (5.2 %, rank 27/30 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education who studied in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is one of the lowest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (3.6 %, rank 25/32 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The proportion of 25-64 years-old adults with below upper secondary education participating in formal education is high in Finland. (12.5 %, rank 1/24 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Among adults (25-64 years-old) with below upper secondary education, a high proportion participate in non-formal education. (30.2 %, rank 9/33 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Participation rate of 25-64 year-olds in job-related non-formal education not sponsored by the employer is high in Finland, compared to other countries with available data. (12.3 %, rank 7/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate of 40-64 year-olds in Finland is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (5.5 %, rank 2/39 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Finland, the share of part-time students in bachelor's programmes is relatively large. (26.5 %, rank 10/30 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Finland, the share of part-time students in master's programmes is relatively large. (52 %, rank 2/30 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of part-time students in doctoral programmes in Finland is relatively large. (100 %, rank 1/29 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Finland, the proportion of new female entrants into master's long first degree (LFD) programmes is relatively low. (54.6 %, rank 17/24 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Graduation expectancy

    The percentage of young people expected to graduate from vocational programmes in upper secondary education during their lifetimes in Finland is comparatively high (55.3 %, rank 4/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of today's young people expected to graduate from a doctoral or equivalent programme in Finland ranks as one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (2.5 %, rank 7/39 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Finland has one of the highest percentages of young people expected to obtain a bachelor's or an equivalent degree during their lifetime. (48.1 %, rank 6/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of today's young people expected to obtain a master's or an equivalent degree during their lifetime is one of the highest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (23.7 %, rank 4/38 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Excluding mobile students, Finland has one of the highest percentages of young people expected to complete a doctorate or an equivalent education during their lifetime. (1.8 %, rank 3/29 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Graduation by gender

    In Finland, the share of female doctoral graduates in the field of Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is relatively high. (53.2 %, rank 9/43 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Finland, the share of female doctoral graduates in the field of business, administration and law is relatively high. (56.2 %, rank 4/41 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of female graduates among post-secondary non-tertiary graduates from vocational programmes in Finland is relatively high. (58.7 %, rank 10/25 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Graduation by field of education

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of business, administration and law is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (18.9 %, rank 39/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of information and communication technologies is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (6.3 %, rank 6/43 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of health and welfare is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (21.4 %, rank 4/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    In Finland, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of education is relatively low. (4.5 %, rank 32/35 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Finland, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of social sciences, journalism and information is relatively low. (4.6 %, rank 34/35 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (19.2 %, rank 31/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of national tertiary students enrolled in the field of social sciences, journalism and information in Finland is relatively low. (7.3 %, rank 32/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of national tertiary students enrolled in the field of business, administration and law in Finland is relatively low. (17.1 %, rank 32/36 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Finland,the share of male among new entrants to doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of natural sciences, mathematics ans statistics is relatively small. (47.8 %, rank 30/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Finland, the share of male among new entrants to doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of health and welfare is relatively small. (31 %, rank 31/33 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Student mobility

    In Finland, the proportion of new international entrants into master's long first degreee (LFD) programmes is relatively low. (0.4 %, rank 19/20 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Student mobility by field of education

    The percentage of international tertiary students enrolled in the field of social sciences, journalism and information in Finland is relatively low. (5 %, rank 35/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of international tertiary students enrolled in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction in Finland is relatively high. (19.5 %, rank 10/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Organisation of the education system

    The total compulsory instruction time for lower secondary students in Finland is one of the shortest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (2423 Hours, rank 32/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    The total compulsory instruction time for primary and lower secondary student in Finland is among the shortest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (6327 Hours, rank 32/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Finland, compulsory instruction time for primary students, in hours per year, is one of the shortest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (651 Hours, rank 32/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Finland, the intended instruction time for primary students, in hours per year, is one of the shortest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (683 Hours, rank 24/29 , 2019) Download Indicator

    In Finland, compulsory instruction time for lower secondary students, in hours per year, is one of the shortest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (808 Hours, rank 30/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Classes in lower secondary public institutions are comparatively small in Finland. (19 Students, rank 28/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Expenditure per student

    Annual expenditure per pupil at the pre-primary level is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (10961 USD Equivalent, rank 6/31 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Expenditure per student for ancillary services on tertiary education in Finland is comparatively low. (0 USD Equivalent, rank 25/26 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Expenditure in education and national wealth

    In Finland, expenditure on tertiary educational institutions as a percentage of GDP is comparatively high. (1.7 %, rank 8/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Finland, private expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP on primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education from final source of funds is relatively low. (0 %, rank 33/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Finland, private expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP on tertiary education from final source of funds is relatively low. (0.1 %, rank 30/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Finland, public expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP on primary to tertiary education from final source of funds is relatively high. (5.4 %, rank 2/39 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Finland, private expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP on primary to tertiary education from final source of funds is relatively low. (0.1 %, rank 33/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Public and private expenditure in education

    The share of private expenditure on pre-primary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (11.1 %, rank 22/31 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of private expenditure on all levels below tertiary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.7 %, rank 33/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of private expenditure on tertiary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (3.4 %, rank 35/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Finland has one of the smallest shares of private expenditure on primary through tertiary educational institutions among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (1.5 %, rank 35/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Change in private expenditure on educational institutions for primary to tertiary education between 2010 and 2016 in Finland is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (-0.3 % points, rank 22/27 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of public expenditure on educational institutions, for tertiary education is comparatively large . (92.5 %, rank 3/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Finland, the share of public expenditure on educational institutions, for primary to tertiary education is comparatively large . (97.2 %, rank 2/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Change in total public expenditure, for primary to tertiary education, as a percentage of total government expenditure between 2010 and 2016 in Finland is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (92 Index, rank 24/29 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Expenditure on all children aged 3 to 5 enrolled in early childhood and primary education is one of the lowest in Finland compared to OECD and partner countries with available data. (10 USD Equivalent, rank 24/30 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Tuition fees

    The estimated average annual tuition fee for national students in government dependent private institutions for a master's or equivalent level education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0 USD Equivalent, rank 5/8 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The estimated average annual tuition fee for national students in government-dependent private institutions for a bachelor's or equivalent level education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0 USD Equivalent, rank 7/9 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Finland, the percentage of students who do not benefit from public/government-guaranteed private loans or public scholarships/grants is comparatively high. (42 %, rank 6/14 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Ratio of student to teaching staff

    The number of pupils per teacher in pre-primary schools is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (9.7 Ratio, rank 26/28 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The ratio of students to teaching staff at the lower secondary level is especially low. (8.9 Ratio, rank 32/36 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Who the teachers are

    The share of women among teaching staff in tertiary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (51.9 %, rank 4/36 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of upper secondary teachers younger than 30 is especially low. (3.3 %, rank 29/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of primary to upper secondary teachers younger than 30 is especially low. (6.6 %, rank 25/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries

    The ratio of pre-primary teachers' salaries to earnings of full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.66 Ratio, rank 18/24 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The ratio of lower secondary teachers' salaries to earnings of full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.98 Ratio, rank 5/27 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The average actual lower secondary teacher's salary among teachers aged between 25-64 is one of the highest per hour of net teaching time among OECD and partner countries with available data. (51194 USD Equivalent, rank 7/28 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The salaries of 25-34 year-old general lower-secondary teachers relative to earnings for full-time, full-year similarly educated workers with tertiary education is high in Finland. (1.02 Ratio, rank 7/22 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The salaries of 55-64 year-old general lower-secondary teachers relative to earnings for full-time, full-year similarly educated workers with tertiary education is high in Finland. (0.97 Ratio, rank 5/22 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The average actual salaries of 25-34 year-old lower-secondary teachers is one of the highest in Finland relatively compared to OECD and partner countries with available data. (43954 USD Equivalent, rank 7/23 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The average actual salaries of 55-64 year-old lower-secondary teachers is one of the highest in Finland. (54218 USD Equivalent, rank 7/23 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries progression

    The salary progression from the start to the top of the salary scale for a lower secondary school teacher is among the least rewarding among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.32 Ratio, rank 27/34 , 2018) 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. (1.09 Ratio, rank 28/28 , 2018) Download Indicator

    It takes lower secondary teachers less time to progress through the salary scale in Finland compared to other OECD and partner countries. (20 Years, rank 17/25 , 2018) 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. (1.09 Ratio, rank 28/28 , 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. (1.32 Ratio, rank 29/34 , 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. (1.32 Ratio, rank 29/34 , 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. (1.34 Ratio, rank 30/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Principals' salaries

    Pre-primary school heads' salaries relative to earnings for full-time, full-year similarly educated workers with tertiary education is low in Finland. (0.83 Ratio, rank 16/18 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Lower-secondary school heads' salaries relative to earnings for full-time, full-year similarly educated workers with tertiary education is high in Finland. (1.42 Ratio, rank 7/22 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The average lower secondary school heads' actual salary is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (73953 USD Equivalent, rank 7/23 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Unemployment and educational attainment

    Among the unemployed population aged between 25 and 64, with below upper secondary education, the share of those who have been unemployed for less than 3 months is one of the largest in Finland, compared to other OECD countries. (35.3 %, rank 7/31 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The inactivity rate of 25-34 years-old adults with below upper secondary education is high in Finland. (41.5 %, rank 3/42 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Earnings and educational attainment

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 without upper secondary education is comparatively low. (51.1 %, rank 23/29 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The proportion of female full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 without upper secondary education is comparatively high. (32.7 %, rank 9/29 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The earnings of adults without an upper secondary education are relatively high compared to those of adults with an upper secondary or a post-secondary non-tertiary education. (98 Index, rank 2/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old adults with tertiary education and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is quite low. (135 Index, rank 29/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old adults with a bachelor's or equivalent degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is low. (120 Index, rank 29/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The gap in average earnings between 25-64 year-old women with a bachelor's or equivalent degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (120 Index, rank 29/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Finland, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old men with a bachelor's or equivalent degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is low. (126 Index, rank 29/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings by field of education

    Earnings of tertiary-educated adults who studied in the field of arts and humanities, social sciences, journalism and information are high, compared to earnings of all tertiary-educated adults in Finland. (87.4 %, rank 2/14 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Earnings of tertiary-educated adults who studied in the field of business, administration and law are low, compared to earnings of all tertiary-educated adults in Finland. (99.3 %, rank 14/15 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Earnings of tertiary-educated adults who studied in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics are high, compared to earnings of all tertiary-educated adults in Finland. (106.8 %, rank 8/14 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Earnings of tertiary-educated adults who studied in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction are high, compared to earnings of all tertiary-educated adults in Finland. (116.4 %, rank 7/15 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Earnings of tertiary-educated adults who studied in the field of health and welfare are low, compared to earnings of all tertiary-educated adults in Finland. (89.8 %, rank 11/15 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Migrant background

    Earnings of foreign-born aged between 25 and 64 who work full- and part-time with tertiary education are low compared to those of native-born with the same characteristics. (76 Index, rank 18/21 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Social outcomes

    In Finland, a large share of adults (25-64 years-old) with below upper secondary education participated in formal voluntary activities in the 12 months prior to the survey. (26.1 %, rank 6/28 , 2015) Download Indicator

    In Finland, a large share of adults (25-64 years-old) with tertiary education participated in formal voluntary activities in the 12 months prior to the survey. (42.9 %, rank 7/29 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Among 25-64 years-old adults with below upper secondary education, a high proportion have someone to ask for moral, material or financial help. (97.7 %, rank 1/29 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Among 25-64 years-old adults with tertiary education, a high proportion have someone to ask for moral, material or financial help. (98.8 %, rank 4/29 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Compared to other countries with available data, the percentage of adults (25-64 years old) with tertiary education who actively participate in social media on a daily basis is high in Finland. (43.6 %, rank 10/29 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Among employed adults (25-64 years-old) with tertiary education, a small share have difficulties to fulfill their family responsabilities because of their jobs, compared to other countries with available data. (40.1 %, rank 30/32 , 2015) Download Indicator

    The proportion of employed adults (25-64 years-old) with tertiary education who have concentration difficulties at work because of family responsabilities is low in Finland. (25.8 %, rank 23/32 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Weekly working hours among employed 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education are short in Finland compared to other OECD countries. (38.3 Hours/week, rank 19/28 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Among employed 25-64 year-olds with below upper secondary education, a large share have high flexibility of working hours. (40.6 %, rank 1/28 , 2015) Download Indicator

    Among employed 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education, a large share have high flexibility of working hours. (51 %, rank 1/28 , 2015) Download Indicator


    The data table will display up to six selected countries.
    General findings
    • In 2018, 44% of 25-34 year-olds held a tertiary degree, compared to 35% in 2008, on average across OECD countries.
    • Tertiary-educated adults also reap higher earnings, although this varies by field of study. Their advantage increases with age too: 25-34 year-olds with tertiary education earn 38% more than their peers with upper secondary education while 45-54 year-olds earn 70% more.
    • While engineering, manufacturing and construction, and information and communication technologies are two fields most commonly associated with the best labour market outcomes, only 14% of graduates earned a degree in the former and 4% earned a degree in the latter in 2017.
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    • Although graduation from upper secondary education increased by 6 percentage points between 2005 and 2017, 15% of 25-34 year-olds did not attain upper secondary education in 2018, on average across OECD countries.
    • In some countries, vocational programmes are prominent at the upper secondary level. On average across OECD countries, 40% of first-time upper secondary graduates earned a vocational qualification in 2017; in Austria, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, more than 66% of this population did.
    • At the lower secondary level, the average class shrank by 6% while teachers' statutory salaries increased by 8% between 2005 and 2017, on average across OECD countries.
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    • In 2017, more than one in three children under the age of three were enrolled in early childhood education and care services, on average across OECD countries - an increase of 7 percentage points compared to 2010.
    • Between the age of 3 to 5, on average across OECD countries, 87% of children are enrolled in pre-primary and primary education.
    • Annual expenditure per child in early childhood development programmes was greater than in pre-primary education in 2016 on average across OECD countries. However, as a share of GDP, expenditure on early childhood development is lower.
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    • In 2016, expenditure per tertiary student amounted to USD 15 556, approximately one-third of which was devoted to research and development.
    • Private sources financed more than 30% of the expenditure, on average, at the tertiary level compared to 10% at primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary level.
    • OECD countries spent an average of 3.5% of GDP on primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary institutions in 2016, and public expenditure at this level increased by 18% since 2005.
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    • About 10% of primary and secondary teachers are under the age of 30, on average across OECD countries.
    • 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.
    • Salaries tend to increase with the level of education taught, but teachers' earnings remain between 78% and 93% of the earnings of other tertiary-educated adults.
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    Key
    Country Reviews for Finland

    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 2019 for more details about the data collections.

    B-S-J-Z (China) refers to the four PISA-participating provinces/municipalities of the People's Republic of China: Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

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