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New Zealand
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New Zealand
Overview of the education system (EAG 2014)
  • In 2012, 91% of 3-4 year-olds in New Zealand were enrolled in early childhood education, well above the OECD average of 76%.
  • Some 41% of 25-64 year-olds and 47% of 25-34 year-olds in New Zealand now hold a tertiary degree - above the OECD averages of 33% and 40%, respectively.
  • Foreign students make up 16% of New Zealand's tertiary student population, double the OECD average. Nearly half of the foreign students enrolled in New Zealand's tertiary institutions (more than 25 000 students) come from either the People's Republic of China (28%) or India (18%).
  • New Zealand's investment in education rose from 5.1% of GDP in 2005, which was below the OECD average of 5.7% at the time, to 7.5% of GDP in 2011 , which was above both the OECD average (6.1%) and that of neighbouring Australia (5.8%).
  • Younger New Zealanders with low educational attainment are more vulnerable to unemployment, although unemployment rates are significantly lower than the OECD averages. In New Zealand, 10.7% of 25-34 year-olds with below upper secondary education are unemployed (by comparison, the OECD average proportion is 20%). Their more educated peers are far less likely to be unemployed: 4.8% of tertiary-educated 25-34 year-olds are unemployed (the OECD average is 7.4%).
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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. (80 %, rank 28/36 ) 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. (20 %, rank 8/35 ) 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. (33.5 %, rank 32/37 ) 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. (40.6 %, rank 9/37 ) 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. (46.9 %, rank 9/36 ) 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. (34.6 %, rank 6/36 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-34 year-old men who have attained tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (41.5 %, rank 9/37 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-34 year-old women who have attained tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (52.1 %, rank 9/37 ) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The proportion of 25-64 year-olds who have attained only lower secondary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (43.9 %, rank 2/26 ) Download Indicator

    The share of women expected to graduate from tertiary-type A (academic) programmes during their life time is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (71.2 %, rank 2/26 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage today's young people expected to graduate from tertiary-type A (academic) programmes in New Zealand ranks as one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (57.5 %, rank 2/27 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 5-14 year-olds in education in New Zealand is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (100 %, rank 1/44 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of upper secondary students enrolled in vocational or pre-vocational programmes is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (27.4 %, rank 32/41 ) Download Indicator

    The average age of entry into tertiary-type A (academic) programmes in New Zealand is comparatively old. (24.4 Years, rank 3/34 ) Download Indicator

    The average age of entry into tertiary-type B (vocational) programmes in New Zealand is comparatively old. (28.1 Years, rank 8/28 ) Download Indicator

    In New Zealand the percentage of young people expected to enter tertiary-type A (academic) programmes during their lifetimes is comparatively high. (78.4 %, rank 5/38 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of all tertiary students in New Zealand who are international students is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (15.8 %, rank 5/38 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students in public tertiary educational institutions is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (87.3 %, rank 9/38 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of students in independent private tertiary educational institutions is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.9 %, rank 28/32 ) Download Indicator

    Resources for education

    Annual expenditure per pre-primary pupil is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (11088 USD Equivalent, rank 3/36 ) Download Indicator

    In New Zealand, total expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP for all levels of education is comparatively high. (7.5 %, rank 4/37 ) Download Indicator

    In New Zealand the change in expenditure between 2008 and 2010 on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP is comparatively large. (116 Index, rank 3/33 ) Download Indicator

    In New Zealand the change in public expenditure between 2008 and 2010 on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP is comparatively large. (121 Index, rank 3/33 ) Download Indicator

    The change in the share of private expenditure on education between 2000 and 2010 is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (94 Index, rank 26/29 ) Download Indicator

    In New Zealand, public expenditure on education as a percentage of total public expenditure is comparatively high. (21.6 %, rank 1/34 ) Download Indicator

    In New Zealand public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP is comparatively high. (7.4 %, rank 3/37 ) Download Indicator

    The change between 2000 and 2010 in private expenditure on tertiary educational institutions is one of the smallest compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (98 Index, rank 25/28 ) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The number of pupils per teacher in pre-primary schools is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (7 Students, rank 29/31 ) Download Indicator

    The ratio of students to teaching staff at the lower secondary level is especially high. (16 Students, rank 7/36 ) Download Indicator

    The ratio of primary teachers' salaries to earnings for full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.04 Ratio, rank 7/28 ) Download Indicator

    The ratio of lower secondary teachers' salaries to earnings for full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.06 Ratio, rank 6/28 ) Download Indicator

    The ratio of upper secondary teachers' salaries to earnings for full-time, full-year workers with tertiary education is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.09 Ratio, rank 7/28 ) Download Indicator

    The change between 2000 and 2011 in statutory salaries for primary teachers with 15 years of experience and minimum training is comparatively large in New Zealand. (104 Index, rank 10/26 ) Download Indicator

    The change between 2000 and 2011 in statutory salaries for lower secondary teachers with 15 years of experience and minimum training is comparatively large in New Zealand. (109 Index, rank 9/25 ) Download Indicator

    The change between 2000 and 2011 in statutory salaries for upper secondary teachers with 15 years of experience and minimum training is comparatively large in New Zealand. (110 Index, rank 6/25 ) Download Indicator

    The number of hours primary teachers spend teaching in public institutions is comparatively large in New Zealand. (935 Hours, rank 4/33 ) Download Indicator

    The number of hours lower secondary teachers spend teaching in public institutions is comparatively large in New Zealand. (848 Hours, rank 5/33 ) Download Indicator

    The number of hours upper secondary teachers spend teaching general programmes in public institutions is comparatively large in New Zealand. (760 Hours, rank 6/33 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of primary teachers younger than 40 is especially low. (34.7 %, rank 24/31 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of lower secondary teachers younger than 40 is especially low. (34.1 %, rank 25/30 ) Download Indicator

    Economic and social outcomes

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds without upper secondary education is comparatively high. (68.3 %, rank 3/35 ) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-olds with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively high. (81.3 %, rank 4/36 ) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-34 year-olds with below upper secondary education is comparatively low. (10.7 %, rank 26/33 ) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-olds without upper secondary education is comparatively low. (6.4 %, rank 29/35 ) Download Indicator

    The unemployment rate among 25-64 year-old women without upper secondary education is comparatively low. (6.6 %, rank 28/35 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 with below upper secondary education is comparatively high. (92.1 %, rank 5/29 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of female full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 with below upper secondary education is comparatively high. (64 %, rank 7/29 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 with tertiary education is comparatively high. (93.5 %, rank 5/30 ) 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. (84 Index, rank 4/33 ) Download Indicator

    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. (122 Index, rank 33/33 ) 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. (127 Index, rank 32/33 ) 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. (123 Index, rank 33/33 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 15-19 year-olds who are neither employed nor in education or training is comparatively large in New Zealand. (8.7 %, rank 9/34 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 15-29 year-olds without an upper secondary degree who are neither employed nor in education or training is comparatively high in New Zealand. (20.7 %, rank 7/34 ) Download Indicator


    General findings
    • Across almost all OECD countries, upper secondary attainment is the norm. About 75% of adults aged 25-64 have attained at least upper secondary education; among 25-34 year-olds, about 80% have.
    • In some OECD countries, younger adults have higher tertiary attainment rates than older adults by an average of more than 20 percentage points.
    • More than 40% of 25-34 year-olds in most OECD and partner countries have tertiary education, but this proportion of tertiary-educated 55-64 year-olds is seen only in Canada, Israel, the Russian Federation and the United States.
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    • Access to education for 5-14 year-olds is universal in all OECD and most partner countries with available data.
    • More than three-quarters of 4-year-olds (84%) are enrolled in early childhood education and primary education across OECD countries.
    • In 2012, enrolment rates among 15-19 year-olds were greater than 75% in 34 of the 40 OECD and partner countries with available data.
    • More than 20% of 20-29 year-olds in all OECD countries, except Luxembourg, Mexico and the United Kingdom, participated in education in 2012.
    • In 2012, 72% of students in tertiary-type A education attended public institutions, 14% attended government-dependent private institutions, and 14% attended independent private institutions.
    • Under 2012 enrolment conditions, a 5-year-old in an OECD country can expect to participate in more than 17 years of full-time and part-time education, on average, before reaching the age of 40.
    • Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States together receive more than 50% of all foreign students worldwide.
    • International students represent 10% or more of the enrolments in tertiary education in Australia, Austria, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
    • Across countries, more than 50% of adults participate in formal and/or non-formal education.
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    • In 2011, OECD countries spent an average of 6.1% of their GDP on educational institutions; seven countries (Argentina, Denmark, Iceland, Israel, Korea, New Zealand and Norway) spent more than 7%.
    • On average, OECD countries spend USD 9 487 per student per year from primary through tertiary education: USD 8 296 per primary student, USD 9 280 per secondary student, and USD 13 958 per tertiary student.
    • Education accounts for 12.9% of total public spending, on average across OECD countries, ranging from less than 10% in Hungary, Italy and Japan, to more than 20% in Indonesia, Mexico and New Zealand.
    • Nearly 92% of the funds for primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary educational institutions come from public sources, on average in OECD countries; only in Chile and Colombia is this share less than 80%. Tertiary institutions and, to a lesser extent, pre-primary institutions obtain the largest proportions of funds from private sources: 31% and 19%, respectively.
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    • The ratio of students to teaching staff varies across OECD countries and levels of education. At the primary level, there were more than 15 students for every teacher on average in OECD countries in 2012. In most countries, the student-teacher ratio decreases between primary and lower secondary school, despite an increase in class size. In 2012, there were, on average, about 13 students per teacher at the secondary level. At the tertiary level, there were, on average, about 14 students per teacher in OECD countries.
    • The number of teaching hours per teacher in public schools in 2012 averaged 782 hours per year in primary education, 694 hours in lower secondary education, and 655 hours in upper secondary education.
    • Teachers' statutory salaries vary widely across countries, but often increase with the level of education. In 2012, the statutory salaries of teachers with at least 15 years of experience averaged USD 37 350 at the pre-primary level, USD 39 024 at the primary level, USD 40 570 at the lower secondary level, and USD 42 861 at the upper secondary level. Between 2000 and 2012, teachers' salaries increased in real terms in most countries.
    • On average in OECD countries, pre-primary school teachers' salaries in 2012 amounted to 80% of full-time, full-year earnings of tertiary-educated adults working in different occupations. Primary school teachers' salaries amounted to 85% of that income, lower secondary school teachers' salaries amounted to 88% of that benchmark, and upper secondary school teachers' salaries amounted to 92% of those earnings.
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    • In a majority of OECD countries, education now begins for most children well before they are 5 years old. More than three-quarters of 4-year-olds (84%) are enrolled in early childhood education and primary education across OECD countries; among OECD countries that are part of the European Union, 89% of 4-year-olds are.
    • In Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, more than 90% of 3-year-olds are enrolled in early childhood education.
    • Publicly-funded pre-primary education tends to be more strongly developed in the European than in the non-European countries of the OECD. Private expenditure varies widely between countries, ranging from 5% or less in Belgium, Estonia, Latvia Luxembourg and Sweden, to 25% or more in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Colombia, Japan, Korea, Spain and the United States.
    • As a percentage of GDP, expenditure on pre-primary education accounts for an average of 0.6% of GDP. Differences between countries are significant. For example, while 0.1% of GDP is spent on pre-primary education in Australia, about 0.8% or more is spent in Chile, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Spain and the Russian Federation.
    • The pupil-teacher ratio, excluding non-teaching staff (e.g. teachers' aides), ranges from more than 20 pupils per teacher in Chile, France, Israel, Mexico and Turkey, to fewer than 10 in Estonia, Iceland, Indonesia, New Zealand, Slovenia and Sweden.
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    • Tertiary-educated younger adults have higher unemployment rates than tertiary-educated older adults: about 7% and 4%, respectively.
    • Across OECD countries, compared with adults with upper secondary education who have income from employment, those without this qualification earn about 20% less, those with post-secondary non-tertiary education about 10% more, those with tertiary-type B (vocationally oriented) education about 30% more, and those with tertiary-type A (academically oriented) education or advanced research earn about 70% more.
    • Across OECD countries, a tertiary-educated woman earns about 75% of what a similarly educated man earns. Only in Belgium, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey do the earnings of tertiary-educated women amount to 80% or more of men's earnings. In Brazil, Chile and Hungary, women with a tertiary degree earn 65% or less of what tertiary-educated men earn.
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    • The proportion of young people neither in employment nor in education or training (NEET) includes those who are unemployed or inactive. The latter group is particularly important as it includes discouraged young people who gave up looking for a job.
    • In 2012, on average across OECD countries, 15% of 15-29 year-olds were neither employed nor in education or training (NEET) (7% unemployed and 8% inactive), as were 7% of 15-19 year-olds (2.8% unemployed and 4.6% inactive), and 19% of 25-29 year-olds (8% unemployed and 11% inactive).
    • For all levels of education combined, in Chile, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain and Turkey, more than 20% of 15-29 year-olds are NEET. In Spain, 19% of 15-29 year-olds are unemployed NEET youth and 7% are inactive. In Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Turkey the reverse pattern is seen: around 15% of NEET youth are inactive while 6% or fewer are unemployed. In Austria, Germany, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, fewer than 10% of 15-29 year-olds were neither in education nor employed.
    • On average across OECD countries in 2012, 17% of 15-29 year-old women were NEET (6% unemployed and 12% inactive) as were 13% of 15-29 year-old men (7% unemployed and 5% inactive).
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    The data table will display up to six selected countries.
    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.