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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

- General methodological notes for ISCED diagrams

Education system in Korea

Korea
Overview of the education system (EAG 2017)
  • Among OECD countries, Korea has relatively high shares of new entrants and graduates in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), particularly in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction: STEM fields account for 31% of new entrants and 30% of tertiary graduates, including 23% of new entrants and 22% of tertiary graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction.
  • In Korea, teachers with typical qualifications receive lower starting salaries than the OECD average. However, their salaries rise with increasing work experience. For example, the starting salary for teachers in lower secondary education is USD 28 400, lower than the OECD average of USD 32 200. Yet, their salary after 15 years is higher than the OECD average: USD 49 700 compared with USD 44 600.
  • Between 2005 and 2014, the share of public expenditure on educational institutions increased by 10 percentage points both in primary, secondary, and post-secondary non-tertiary education and tertiary education. As a result, private expenditure as a share of total expenditure on educational institutions fell rapidly between 2005 and 2014, from 23% to 13% at primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary level, and from 76% to 66% at tertiary level.
  • In Korea, more than 90% of children at every age from 3 to 5 years old are enrolled in early childhood and primary education. Enrolment rates are 92%, 91% and 92% for children aged 3, 4 and 5 respectively, all above the corresponding OECD averages of 73%, 86% and 82%. Also, the annual expenditure on pre-primary level education per student is USD 7 500, less than the OECD average of USD 8 700, and 83% of the expenditure is from public sources, equal to the OECD average share of 83%.
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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. (98.3 %, rank 1/45 ) 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. (46.9 %, rank 5/46 ) Download Indicator

    The level of tertiary attainment among 25-34 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (70 %, rank 1/46 ) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    In Korea, 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. (94.6 %, rank 6/37 ) Download Indicator

    Compared to other OECD and partner countries, Korea has a small share of female graduates from doctoral or equivalent programmes. (35.1 %, rank 38/40 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of three-year-olds in early childhood education in Korea is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (92.3 %, rank 9/36 ) Download Indicator

    Classroom environment

    In Korea, the intended instruction time for primary students, in hours per year, is one of the shortest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (655 Hours, rank 26/27 ) Download Indicator

    Classes are particularly large in lower secondary schools. (30 Students, rank 5/35 ) Download Indicator

    Classes are particularly large in primary schools. (23 Students, rank 8/35 ) Download Indicator

    The ratio of students to teaching staff at the lower secondary level is especially high. (15.67 Ratio, rank 9/37 ) Download Indicator

    The number of students per teacher in secondary schools is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (14.79 Ratio, rank 10/37 ) Download Indicator

    The theoretical duration of primary and lower secondary education, in years, is one of the longest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (9 Years, rank 7/39 ) Download Indicator

    Resources for 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 %, rank 8/38 ) Download Indicator

    The share of private expenditure on tertiary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (65.7 %, rank 3/38 ) Download Indicator

    In Korea, public expenditure on education as a percentage of total public expenditure is comparatively high. (14.5 %, rank 7/40 ) 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. (96 Index, rank 22/29 ) 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. (101 Index, rank 8/34 ) Download Indicator

    Between 2010 and 2012, the change in public expenditure on primary through tertiary educational institutions is comparatively big. (114 Index, rank 5/34 ) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The number of hours per year primary teachers spend teaching in public institutions is comparatively small in Korea. (658 Hours, rank 28/35 ) Download Indicator

    The number of hours per year lower secondary teachers spend teaching in public institutions is comparatively small in Korea. (548 Hours, rank 31/35 ) Download Indicator

    The number of hours per year upper secondary teachers spend teaching general programmes in public institutions is comparatively small in Korea. (551 Hours, rank 26/35 ) Download Indicator

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in pre-primary school is especially small. (180 Days, rank 21/30 ) Download Indicator

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in primary school is especially large. (190 Days, rank 10/36 ) Download Indicator

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in lower secondary school is especially large. (190 Days, rank 10/34 ) Download Indicator

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in upper secondary school is especially large. (190 Days, rank 8/34 ) Download Indicator

    The number of hours per year pre-primary teachers spend teaching in public institutions is comparatively small in Korea. (568 Hours, rank 26/27 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of lower secondary teachers younger than 40 is especially high. (45.9 %, rank 8/35 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of upper secondary teachers younger than 40 is especially high. (43.9 %, rank 7/34 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of secondary teachers older than 50 is especially low. (1.1 %, rank 33/36 ) Download Indicator

    Who the teachers are

    The share of women among teaching staff in pre-primary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (99 %, rank 9/38 ) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in upper secondary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (50.6 %, rank 32/37 ) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in short-cycle tertiary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (44.4 %, rank 17/25 ) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in tertiary education (bachelor's, master's, doctorate or equivalent education) is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (32.5 %, rank 29/31 ) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff in tertiary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (35 %, rank 33/36 ) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (61.3 %, rank 26/29 ) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries

    After 15 years of experience, a lower secondary teacher with minimum qualification can expect to have one of the highest salaries among OECD and partner countries with available data. (49655 USD Equivalent, rank 10/33 ) Download Indicator

    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. (48204 USD Equivalent, rank 5/27 ) Download Indicator

    After 15 years of experience, a primary teacher with minimum qualification can expect to have one of the highest salaries among OECD and partner countries with available data. (49596 USD Equivalent, rank 10/33 ) Download Indicator

    The change between 2003 and 2013 in statutory salaries for upper secondary teachers with 15 years of experience and minimum training is comparatively small in Korea. (101 Index, rank 16/24 ) Download Indicator

    Salaries of pre-primary teachers with minimum training after 10 years of experience are especially high. (41265 USD Equivalent, rank 9/28 ) Download Indicator

    Economic and social outcomes

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, the difference in earnings between 25-64 year-old men with tertiary education and those with upper secondary education is quite low. (130 Index, rank 35/37 ) Download Indicator

    Compared with other OECD and partner countries, 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. (138 Index, rank 28/37 ) 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 low. (113 Index, rank 17/25 ) Download Indicator


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    General findings
    • In most OECD countries, the most popular tertiary degrees held by adults are in business, administration or law. However, interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) grows with higher levels of education, with almost double the share of students graduating from these fields at doctoral level than at bachelor’s level in 2015.
    • STEM-related fields tend to benefit from higher employment rates on average across OECD countries though inequities persist: natural sciences, mathematics and statistics graduates are more likely to have similar employment rates as arts and humanities graduates – both lower than the rates enjoyed by engineers or ICT specialists.
    • Gender parity is still a distant dream for some fields of study. At the tertiary level, women still represent approximately only one in four entrants to engineering, manufacturing and construction, but three out of four entrants in health and welfare on average across OECD countries.
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    • On average across OECD countries, expenditure has been increasing at a much higher rate than student enrolments at all levels, particularly tertiary. Total expenditure on tertiary educational institutions increased by more than twice the rate of students over the same period, reflecting the priority given by government and society to higher education.
    • While public expenditure on educational institutions has clearly been rising, it did not keep up with the increase in GDP between 2010 and 2014 on average across OECD countries. This has led to a decrease of 2% in public expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP over the same period.
    • The share of public funding is significantly higher at lower levels of education than for tertiary education on average across OECD countries. While the public sector still provides 91% of the funds at primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary levels, it only provides for 70% of total expenditure at tertiary level.
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    • The teaching profession is getting older, particularly at higher levels of education. On average across OECD countries, 35% of primary to secondary teachers were at least 50 years old in 2015, up 3 percentage points from 2005.
    • The profession is still largely dominated by women, who make up seven out of ten teachers on average across OECD countries. However gender parity improves at higher levels of education – while 97% of teachers at the pre-primary level are women, they make up 43% at the tertiary level.
    • Primary and secondary teachers’ salaries are low compared to other similarly educated full-time workers. While salaries increase with the level of education taught, they still range between 78% and 94% of the salaries of full-time workers with tertiary education on average across OECD countries.
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    • In a majority of OECD countries, education now begins for most children well before they are five years old – 78% of three-year-olds are enrolled in early childhood education on average across OECD countries.
    • The proportion of children enrolled in private early childhood education programmes is considerably greater than the private enrolment shares at primary and secondary levels. On average, 55% of children in early childhood educational development programmes and 33% in pre-primary programmes attend private institutions.
    • Public expenditure accounts for 83% of all resources allocated for pre-primary education and 71% of funding for early childhood educational development.
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    • Based on current patterns, it is estimated that on average across OECD countries, 80% of today’s young people will graduate from upper secondary education before the age of 25.
    • General upper secondary education programmes are more popular than vocational programmes: 57% of 15-19 year-old students are enrolled in general programmes, compared to 43% in vocational programmes.
    • Adults with upper secondary as highest attainment level have lower employment advantages and are least likely to recover from economic downturns that those that have attained tertiary education.
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    • Based on current patterns of graduation, an average of 49% of today’s young people across OECD countries are expected to graduate from tertiary education at least once in their lifetime.
    • People’s relative earning advantage increases with their level of tertiary education. On average across OECD countries, those with a short-cycle tertiary degree earn only about 22% more than those with upper secondary education, while those with a master’s, doctoral or equivalent degree earn about twice as much.
    • Students become more mobile as they reach higher tertiary education levels. International students account for only 5.6% of total enrolment in tertiary programmes, but over a quarter of enrolments at doctoral level across OECD countries.
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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 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.