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Finland
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Diagram of the education system



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Key
  • Diagram of education system in country language

  • Old diagram using ISCED 1997 classification

  • Methodological notes for this diagram
  • Education system in Finland

    Finland
    Overview of the education system (EAG 2015)
  • Only 68% of 3-year-olds in Finland are enrolled in early childhood education (OECD average: 74%), while in Norway 95% of 3-year-olds are and in Sweden 93% are.
  • Finland's educational attainment rates are high. In 2014, 87% of 25-64 year-olds had completed at least an upper secondary qualification (OECD average: 76%). Some 42% of 25-64 year-olds have completed tertiary education (OECD average: 33%), a larger proportion than in Sweden (39%). But only 41% of young people in Finland are expected to enter tertiary education before the age of 25 (OECD average: 50%).
  • Finland dedicates 11% of total public expenditure to education from primary to tertiary (OECD average: 12%); but as a share of GDP (5.8%), Finland's expenditure is above the OECD average (5.3%).
  • Unemployment rates have increased over the past decade. Some 18.1% of 25-34 year-olds with below upper secondary education were unemployed in 2014 - three times the unemployment rate of tertiary-educated people of the same age (6.2%) (OECD averages: 19.1% and 7.5%, respectively).
  • The large majority of graduates in the fields of humanities and arts (73%), education (82%) and health and welfare (85%) are women. By contrast, only 22% of graduates in engineering, manufacturing and construction are women, one of the smallest shares among OECD and partner countries.
  • Pre-primary teachers in Finland have comparatively low statutory salaries and small margin for progression. A Finnish pre-primary teacher earns just 68% of a full-time, full-year, similarly educated workers' salary (OECD average: 81%); and top of the salary scale for these teachers is only 1.08 times the starting salary (OECD average: 1.64) - the smallest ratio among all OECD and partner countries with available data.
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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 highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (90 %, rank 10/41 ) Download Indicator

    The level of tertiary attainment among 25-64 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (42 %, rank 9/40 ) Download Indicator

    The level of tertiary attainment among 55-64 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (34 %, rank 7/40 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 35-44 year-old women who have attained at least upper secondary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (94 %, rank 5/41 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 45-54 year-old women who have attained at least upper secondary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (92 %, rank 5/41 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-64 year-old women who have attained tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (48 %, rank 4/42 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 35-44 year-old women who have attained tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (59 %, rank 3/42 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 45-54 year-old women who have attained tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (51 %, rank 3/42 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 55-64 year-old women who have attained tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (38 %, rank 6/42 ) Download Indicator

    Finland has one of the largest shares of 25-64 year-old women whose highest education level is a short-cycle tertiary education degree. (16 %, rank 4/33 ) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-64 year-old women who attained a doctoral or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the largest among countries with available data. (1 %, rank 5/30 ) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The percentage of young people expected to graduate from vocational programmes in upper secondary education in Finland is comparatively high (93 %, rank 1/36 ) Download Indicator

    In Finland, the percentage of today's young people expected to graduate from upper secondary education during their lifetimes is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (96 %, rank 5/28 ) Download Indicator

    In Finland, the percentage of today's young women expected to graduate from upper secondary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (100 %, rank 4/28 ) 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. (46 Index, rank 4/34 ) Download Indicator

    Excluding mobile students, Finland has one of the highest percentages of young people expected to obtain a bachelor's or an equivalent degree during their lifetime. (44 Index, rank 4/25 ) Download Indicator

    Excluding mobile students, Finland has one of the highest percentages of young people expected to obtain a bachelor's or an equivalent degree before the age of 30. (34 Index, rank 5/22 ) 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 %, rank 6/33 ) Download Indicator

    Excluding mobile students, the percentage of 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. (21 %, rank 5/24 ) 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. (2 %, rank 4/24 ) Download Indicator

    Excluding mobile students, Finland has one of the highest percentages of young people expected to graduate from tertiary education during their lifetimes. (45 Index, rank 9/19 ) Download Indicator

    Excluding mobile students, Finland has one of the highest percentages of young people expected to graduate from tertiary education before the age of 30. (37 %, rank 7/16 ) Download Indicator

    Compared to other OECD and partner countries, Finland has a large share of female graduates from doctoral or equivalent programmes. (51 Index, rank 9/40 ) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate among 20-29 year-olds in Finland is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (41 %, rank 2/37 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of upper secondary students enrolled in vocational or pre-vocational programmes is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (70 %, rank 3/38 ) Download Indicator

    In Finland, the number of expected years in formal education (all levels combined) between the ages of 5 and 39 is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (20 Years, rank 1/39 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of four-year-olds in early childhood and primary education in Finland is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (75 %, rank 29/38 ) Download Indicator

    The expected number of years in education for 15-29 year-olds in Finland is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (8 %, rank 6/36 ) Download Indicator

    The expected number of years in education for 15-29 year-old men in Finland is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (8 %, rank 7/36 ) Download Indicator

    The expected number of years in education for 15-29 year-old women in Finland is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (9 %, rank 3/36 ) Download Indicator

    The expected number of years in full-time education for 5-39 year-old men in Finland is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (18 Years, rank 3/35 ) Download Indicator

    The expected number of years in full-time education for 5-39 year-old women in Finland is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (19 Years, rank 2/35 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students in government-dependent private tertiary educational institutions is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (28 %, rank 6/33 ) Download Indicator

    The share of international students entering master's or equivalent programmes in Finland is relatively large. (30 %, rank 4/22 ) Download Indicator

    The share of female students entering doctorate or equivalent programmes in Finland is one of the largest compared to other OECD countries and partner economies. (54 %, rank 4/36 ) Download Indicator

    Intergenerational mobility

    The percentage of 25-34 year-old adults whose educational attainment is higher than that of their parents is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries. (39 %, rank 6/20 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 25-34 year-old adults with an upper secondary education and with the same educational attainment as their parents is comparatively high. (26 %, rank 6/20 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 25-34 year-old adults with a tertiary education and with the same educational attainment as their parents is comparatively low. (18 %, rank 13/20 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 25-34 year-old female adults whose educational attainment is higher than that of their parents is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries. (46 %, rank 5/20 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 25-34 year-old female adults with an upper secondary education and with the same educational attainment as their parents is comparatively high. (22 %, rank 6/20 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 25-34 year-old male adults with an upper secondary education and with the same educational attainment as their parents is comparatively high. (31 %, rank 6/20 ) Download Indicator

    In Finland, the proportion of women among 25-34 year-old first generation tertiary-educated non-students is quite high compared to other countries. (63 %, rank 3/20 ) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    The proportion of female tertiary graduates in the humanities and arts is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries. (73 %, rank 4/36 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of female tertiary graduates in health and welfare is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries. (85 %, rank 3/36 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of female tertiary graduates in the services sector is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries. (65 %, rank 4/36 ) Download Indicator

    Classroom environment

    Classes are particularly small in lower secondary schools. (20 Students, rank 25/31 ) Download Indicator

    The number of grades that are part of compulsory primary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (6 Years, rank 4/36 ) Download Indicator

    In Finland, the ratio of students to teaching staff in bachelor's and tertiary advanced research programmes is one of the lowest compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (14 Ratio, rank 22/27 ) Download Indicator

    Problem solving in technology-rich environments

    The proportion of 25-64 year-olds without upper secondary education who demonstrate having good ICT (information and communication technologies) and problem-solving skills is one of the highest among other countries with available data. (9 %, rank 6/17 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-64 year-olds with tertiary education who demonstrate having good ICT (information and communication technologies) and problem-solving skills is one of the highest among other countries with available data. (56 %, rank 5/17 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-64 year-old adults who demonstrate having good ICT (information and communication technologies) and problem-solving skills is one of the highest among other countries with available data. (38 %, rank 4/17 ) Download Indicator

    In Finland, the proportion of adults between the ages of 25 and 34 who demonstrate having good ICT (information and communication technologies) and problem-solving skills is one of the highest among other countries with available data. (68 %, rank 1/17 ) Download Indicator

    In Finland, the proportion of adults between the ages of 35 and 44 who demonstrate having good ICT (information and communication technologies) and problem-solving skills is one of the highest among other countries with available data. (53 %, rank 1/17 ) Download Indicator

    In Finland, the proportion of adults between the ages of 45 and 54 who demonstrate having good ICT (information and communication technologies) and problem-solving skills is one of the highest among other countries with available data. (30 %, rank 6/17 ) Download Indicator

    The share of men among 25-64 year-old adults who demonstrate having good ICT (information and communication technologies) and problem-solving skills is relatively high compared to other countries. (39 %, rank 6/17 ) Download Indicator

    The share of women among 25-64 year-old adults who demonstrate having good ICT (information and communication technologies) and problem-solving skills is relatively high compared to other countries. (38 %, rank 2/17 ) Download Indicator

    Among 25-64 year-old adults who reported that they are required to complete complex ICT (information and communication technologies) tasks at work, the percentage of adults with good ICT and problem-solving skills is relatively high. (69 %, rank 6/17 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of adults with good ICT (information and communication technologies) and problem-solving skills among 25-64 year-old adults whose job requires moderate ICT skills is relatively high. (57 %, rank 3/17 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of adults with good ICT (information and communication technologies) and problem-solving skills among 25-64 year-old adults whose job requires straightforward ICT skills is relatively high. (28 %, rank 4/17 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of adults with good ICT (information and communication technologies) and problem-solving skills among 25-64 year-old adults whose job does not require ICT skills is relatively high. (14 %, rank 3/17 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of workers with good ICT (information and communication technologies) and problem-solving skills among 25-64 year-old adults in the field of education is quite high. (55 %, rank 3/17 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 25-64 year old adults with good ICT (information and communication technologies) and problem-solving skills among workers in manufacturing jobs is quite high. (43 %, rank 2/17 ) Download Indicator

    Resources for education

    Annual expenditure per pupil at the pre-primary level is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (9998 USD Equivalent, rank 7/28 ) 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. (1 %, rank 35/36 ) Download Indicator

    The share of private expenditure on tertiary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (4 %, rank 35/35 ) Download Indicator

    In Finland, public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP is comparatively high. (6 %, rank 5/38 ) Download Indicator

    The change between 2005 and 2012 in private expenditure on tertiary educational institutions is one of the smallest compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (116 Index, rank 15/23 ) Download Indicator

    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 biggest of all OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (100 Index, rank 10/30 ) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The number of students per teacher in tertiary institutions is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (14 Students, rank 22/28 ) Download Indicator

    The number of pupils per teacher in pre-primary schools is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (10 Students, rank 27/35 ) Download Indicator

    The number of hours per year primary teachers spend teaching in public institutions is comparatively small in Finland. (677 Hours, rank 23/32 ) Download Indicator

    The number of hours per year lower secondary teachers spend teaching in public institutions is comparatively small in Finland. (592 Hours, rank 28/33 ) Download Indicator

    The number of hours per year upper secondary teachers spend teaching general programmes in public institutions is comparatively small in Finland. (550 Hours, rank 24/32 ) Download Indicator

    The ratio of students to teaching staff in post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively high in Finland. (17 Ratio, rank 6/15 ) Download Indicator

    Who the teachers are

    The percentage of upper secondary teachers younger than 40 is especially low. (26 %, rank 31/34 ) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in post-secondary non-tertiary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (54 %, rank 11/16 ) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in tertiary education (bachelor's, master's, doctorate or equivalent education) is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (51 %, rank 3/31 ) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in tertiary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (51 %, rank 3/32 ) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (72 %, rank 10/28 ) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries

    The ratio of 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. (1 Ratio, rank 13/20 ) Download Indicator

    The ratio of lower secondary 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. (1 Ratio, rank 13/20 ) Download Indicator

    The ratio of upper 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. (1 Ratio, rank 7/21 ) Download Indicator

    The average actual pre-primary teacher's salary is one of the lowest per hour of net teaching time among OECD and partner countries with available data. (31907 USD Equivalent, rank 12/21 ) Download Indicator

    The average actual primary teacher's salary is one of the highest per hour of net teaching time among OECD and partner countries with available data. (43538 USD Equivalent, rank 9/22 ) Download Indicator

    The average actual lower secondary teacher's salary is one of the highest per hour of net teaching time among OECD and partner countries with available data. (47898 USD Equivalent, rank 9/22 ) Download Indicator

    The average actual upper secondary teacher's salary is one of the highest per hour of net teaching time among OECD and partner countries with available data. (54128 USD Equivalent, rank 7/24 ) Download Indicator

    Economic and social outcomes

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-old men with tertiary education is comparatively low. (86 %, rank 30/37 ) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 55-64 year-olds with tertiary education is comparatively high. (5 %, rank 5/33 ) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the earnings of men without an upper secondary education are relatively high compared to those of men with an upper secondary education. (90 Index, rank 2/34 ) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the earnings of women without an upper secondary education are relatively high compared to those of women with an upper secondary education. (93 Index, rank 1/34 ) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, 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. (93 Index, rank 1/34 ) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old women with tertiary education and those with upper secondary education is quite low. (148 Index, rank 28/34 ) 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. (53 Index, rank 5/36 ) Download Indicator

    The share of female graduates from upper secondary vocational programmes in the fields of sciences and engineering is one of the largest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (16 %, rank 6/30 ) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old adults with a short-cycle tertiary education degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is high. (129 Index, rank 6/20 ) 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. (127 Index, rank 17/21 ) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the proportional difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old adults with a master's or equivalent degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is high. (187 Index, rank 9/17 ) Download Indicator

    The gap in average earnings between 25-64 year-old women with a short-cycle tertiary education degree and those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (127 Index, rank 2/13 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 25-64 year-olds with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education reporting that they trust others is one of the highest among other countries with available data. (27 %, rank 5/20 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 25-64 year-olds with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education who believe they have a say in government is among the highest across OECD and partner countries. (42 %, rank 4/20 ) Download Indicator


    The data table will display up to six selected countries.
    General findings
    • On average, over 80% of tertiary-educated people are employed compared with over 70% of people with an upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education and less than 60% of people with below upper secondary education.
    • Across OECD countries, compared with adults with upper secondary education with income from employment, those with a tertiary degree earn about 60% more.
    • Adults with higher qualifications were more likely to report desirable social outcomes, including good or excellent health, participation in volunteer activities, interpersonal trust, and political efficacy.
    • First generation tertiary-educated adults and tertiary-educated adults whose parents also hold a tertiary degree share similar employment rates and pursue similar fields of study.
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    *The radar plot will by default not display more than five countries to avoid cluttering.
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    • OECD countries have made significant progress in narrowing gender gaps in educational attainment, pay and labour market participation. Nevertheless, in tertiary education, young women are still under-represented in the fields of mathematics, physical science and computing.
    • One in five 20-24 year-olds is neither employed nor in education or training. In addition, young people with lower attainment levels are more likely to be unemployed than their counterparts with higher attainment level.
    • Participation in employer-sponsored education is strongly related to proficiency levels in key skills such as literacy and numeracy as well as to educational attainment. About 57% of employed adults with good skills in ICT and problem solving participate in employer-sponsored formal and/or non-formal education, while only 9% of adults who cannot use a computer and lack of problem solving skills do.
    • When parents' education is taken into account, adults with tertiary education are 23 percentage points more likely than those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education as their highest level of education to be among the top 25% in monthly earnings.
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    • In a majority of OECD countries, education now begins for most children well before they are 5 years old. Some 74% of 3-year-olds are enrolled in early childhood education across OECD countries.
    • The average primary school class in OECD countries has 21 students, and this average increases to 24 in lower secondary education. Larger classes are correlated with less time spent on actual teaching and learning and with more time spent on keeping order in the classroom. Specifically, one additional student added to an average-size class is associated with a 0.5 percentage-point decrease in time spent on teaching and learning activities.
    • Graduating from upper secondary education has become increasingly important in all countries. Analysing countries for which comparable trends data are available for 2005 and 2013, the first-time graduation rate at the upper secondary level increased from 79% to 84%.
    • Across OECD countries, 77% of individuals with a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary qualification are employed - a rate that is 7 percentage points higher than that among individuals with a general upper secondary education as their highest qualification.
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    • Even though tertiary attainment is increasing, entry rate to more advanced tertiary degrees such as master's and doctoral levels tend to be lower than bachelor. More than one in two students is expected to enter a bachelor degree programme, compared to about one in five for master degree programmes
    • In most OECD and partner countries, labour market opportunities are better for adults with a master's degree or equivalent than for adults with a bachelor's degree.
    • Doctoral students tend to be much more internationally mobile than other students in tertiary education, and they are also more likely to study sciences and engineering. Women are still under-represented in doctoral programmes. In most OECD countries in 2013, around 45% of advanced.
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    • On average, OECD countries spend USD 10 220 per student per year from primary through tertiary education, with large variations between levels of education : Educational institutions spend an average of 1.2 times more per secondary student and 1.8 times more per tertiary student than per primary student.
    • Public funding accounts for 83% of funds for educational institutions from primary to tertiary education; varying from 91% for primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary educational institutions to 70% for tertiary institutions.
    • OECD countries spend an average of 5.3% of GDP on educational institutions from primary to tertiary education.
    • The share of private funding in tertiary education is increasing over the last 10 years, and the differentiation of tuition fees is increasing: About two thirds of private funding of tertiary institutions comes from households, through tuition fees.
    • More than 60% of current expenditure relates to compensation of teaching staff at primary and secondary levels. In most countries, salaries increased less since 2005 than between 2000 and 2005, and, only half of OECD countries show an increase in real terms between 2008 and 2013.
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    • Pre-primary and primary teachers earn 79% of the salary of a similarly-educated, 25-64 year-old full-time, full-year worker, lower secondary teachers are paid 81%, and upper secondary teachers are paid 83% of that benchmark salary.
    • Public school teachers teach an average of 1 005 hours per year at the pre-primary level, 772 hours at the primary level, 694 hours at the lower secondary level, and 643 hours at the upper secondary level of education. In countries with available data, the amount of teaching time in primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education remained largely unchanged between 2000 and 2013.
    • The teaching workforce across OECD countries is ageing with the proportion of secondary teachers aged 50 or older climbed by 3 percentages points between 2005 and 2013, on average among countries with comparable data.
    • Teacher appraisal is legislated/required by policy or regulation in three-quarters of OECD and partner countries with available data.
    • Despite the increased use of ICT in a student's life, the use of ICTs in learning and pedagogy remains scarce. This may be because, among other things, teachers feel they are not sufficiently skilled in using ICT.
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    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 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.