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Turkey
Overview of the education system (EAG 2013)
  • In 2011, virtually all children aged between 5 and 14 were enrolled in education in Turkey (95%). The enrolment rate of 15-19 year-olds has more than doubled in the last decade from 30% in 2001 to 64% in 2011, but is still well below the OECD average of 84%. The further lengthening of compulsory education from 8 to 12 years in 2012 is likely to increase participation in education in the future.
  • Tertiary attainment levels in Turkey have improved strongly over the last decade, but they are still low compared with other OECD countries. In 2011, 14% of the adult population had attained a tertiary qualification (OECD average: 32%). Having a tertiary education in Turkey increases the likelihood of being employed even more than in many other countries. The employment rate among adults with a tertiary qualification was 14 percentage points higher than for those with an upper secondary education (OECD average: 9 percentage point difference).
  • The transition from school to work in Turkey can be challenging for young adults. Only a third of 15-29 year-olds in Turkey continued their studies after completing lower secondary education in 2011 (OECD average: 68%). This represents, however, an increase of almost 10 percentage points since 2008. 37% of people in this age group and without an upper secondary education were NEET. The share of employed tertiary-educated 15-29 year-olds decreased by 8 percentage points since the start of the financial crisis, from 62% in 2008 to 54% in 2011, a higher decrease than the average fall of 5 percentage points across OECD countries. Furthermore, this is the only level of education for which the proportion of NEETs actually increased in Turkey between 2008 and 2011: a rise of 3 percentage points, similar to the OECD average increase for this group of 2 percentage points.
  • Despite a significant decrease of 7 percentage points in the proportion of young people neither employed nor in education or training (NEET) between 2008 and 2011, Turkey still has the highest proportion of NEETs among 15-29 year-olds across OECD countries. In 2011, 35% of 15-29 year-olds were NEET, compared with an OECD average of 16%. The proportion of NEETs was more than twice as high among women than men. 50% of women were NEET compared with 20% of men. This may reflect the large proportion of women who are neither in education nor employed because they are raising families and responsible for household tasks.
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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-olds who have attained only pre-primary or primary education is one of the largest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (57 %, rank 2/37 ) Download Indicator

    The level of upper secondary attainment among 25-64 year-olds is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (32 %, rank 38/40 ) Download Indicator

    The level of upper secondary attainment among 25-34 year-olds is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (44 %, rank 35/35 ) Download Indicator

    The level of upper secondary attainment among 55-64 year-olds is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (19 %, rank 34/35 ) Download Indicator

    The level of tertiary attainment among 30-34 year-olds is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (17 %, rank 33/34 ) Download Indicator

    The level of tertiary attainment among 25-64 year-olds is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (14 %, rank 35/36 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-64 year-olds who have attained vocational programmes in the upper secondary or post-secondary level is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (8 %, rank 26/27 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-64 year-olds men who have attained vocational programmes in the upper secondary or post-secondary level is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (10 %, rank 26/27 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-64 year-olds women who have attained vocational programmes in the upper secondary or post-secondary level is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (6 %, rank 27/27 ) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The average age of graduates from general programmes at the upper secondary level in Turkey is comparatively low. (17 Years, rank 25/28 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of young people expected to graduate from pre-vocational and vocational programmes in upper secondary education in Turkey is comparatively low (25 %, rank 27/36 ) Download Indicator

    The average age of graduates from vocational programmes at the upper secondary level in Turkey is comparatively low. (17 Years, rank 24/25 ) Download Indicator

    In Turkey, the percentage of today's young people expected to graduate from upper secondary education during their lifetimes is one of the low among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (56 %, rank 28/29 ) Download Indicator

    In Turkey, the percentage of today's young men expected to graduate from upper secondary education is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (56 %, rank 28/29 ) Download Indicator

    In Turkey, the percentage of today's women expected to graduate from upper secondary education is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (56 %, rank 28/29 ) Download Indicator

    In Turkey, the percentage of today's young people expected to graduate from upper secondary education of general programme is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (31 %, rank 32/36 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of upper secondary vocational men graduates who studied Engineering, manufacturing and construction is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries (55 %, rank 18/25 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of upper secondary vocational men graduates who studied Sciences is one of the highest among OECD and G20 countries (13 %, rank 1/25 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of upper secondary vocational men graduates who studied agriculture is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries (0 %, rank 24/25 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of upper secondary vocational women graduates who studied health and welfare is one of the highest among OECD and G20 countries (25 %, rank 7/25 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of upper secondary vocational women graduates who studied social science, business and law is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries (17 %, rank 21/25 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of female graduates who studied services in upper secondary vocational programmes is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries (8 %, rank 22/25 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of female graduates who studied engineering, manufacturing and construction in upper secondary vocational programmes is one of the highest among OECD and G20 countries (13 %, rank 5/25 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of female graduates who studied sciences in upper secondary vocational programmes is one of the highest among OECD and G20 countries (11 %, rank 3/25 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of female graduates who student agriculture in upper secondary vocational programmes is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries (0 %, rank 25/25 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male graduates who studied humanities, arts and education in upper secondary vocational programmes is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries (1 %, rank 22/25 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of male graduates who studied social services in upper secondary vocational programmes is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries (4 %, rank 21/25 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of today's young people expected to graduate from tertiary-type B (vocational) programmes before turning 30 in Turkey ranks as one of the highest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (15 %, rank 5/21 ) Download Indicator

    In Turkey, the annual growth of first-time graduation rates in tertiary-type A education is comparatively high. (12 %, rank 2/25 ) Download Indicator

    In Turkey, the number of expected years in education between the ages of 5 and 39 is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (16 Years, rank 33/38 ) Download Indicator

    The percentage of all tertiary students in Turkey who are international students is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (1 %, rank 33/36 ) Download Indicator

    The expected number of years in education for 15-29 year-olds in Turkey is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (5 %, rank 35/35 ) Download Indicator

    The expected number of years in education for 15-29 year-old men in Turkey is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (5 %, rank 34/35 ) Download Indicator

    The expected number of years in education for 15-29 year-old women in Turkey is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (4 %, rank 35/35 ) Download Indicator

    Resources for education

    Annual expenditure per pre-primary pupil is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (2490 USD Equivalent, rank 29/32 ) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per primary student is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (1860 USD Equivalent, rank 34/34 ) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per secondary student is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (2470 USD Equivalent, rank 34/34 ) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per student, for core and ancillary services, from primary to below-tertiary institutions is one of the lowest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (2020 USD Equivalent, rank 35/35 ) Download Indicator

    In Turkey the change in GDP between 2008 and 2010 is comparatively large. (104 Index, rank 6/34 ) Download Indicator

    The change in total public expenditure for all services, including education, between 2008 and 2010 is one of the largest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (116 Index, rank 4/34 ) Download Indicator

    In Turkey the salary cost of primary teachers per student is comparatively low. (1199 USD Equivalent, rank 22/27 ) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The number of students per teacher in tertiary institutions is one of the largest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (19 Students, rank 8/27 ) Download Indicator

    The number of pupils per teacher in pre-primary schools is one of the largest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (23 Students, rank 4/31 ) Download Indicator

    The number of students per teacher in primary schools is one of the largest among OECD countries and G20 countries with available data. (21 Students, rank 4/35 ) Download Indicator

    The ratio of students to teaching staff at the upper secondary level is especially high. (18 Students, rank 6/32 ) Download Indicator

    The number of students per teacher in secondary schools is one of the largest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (18 Students, rank 5/36 ) Download Indicator

    After 15 years of experience, an upper secondary teacher can expect to have one of the lowest salaries among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (25747 USD Equivalent, rank 23/32 ) Download Indicator

    After 15 years of experience, a pre-primary teacher can expect to have one of the lowest salaries among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (24854 USD Equivalent, rank 18/27 ) Download Indicator

    After 15 years of experience, a primary teacher can expect to have one of the lowest salaries among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (25189 USD Equivalent, rank 24/33 ) Download Indicator

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in pre-primary school is especially small. (180 Days, rank 23/30 ) Download Indicator

    Classroom environment

    Total compulsory instruction time for primary students in Turkey is one of the longest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (5760 Hours, rank 5/31 ) Download Indicator

    Total intended instruction time for primary students in Turkey is one of the longest among OECD and G20 countries with available data. (6912 Hours, rank 2/31 ) Download Indicator

    Classes are particularly large in primary schools. (26 Students, rank 6/31 ) Download Indicator

    Economic and social outcomes

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-old men with only primary or pre-primary education is comparatively high. (74 %, rank 6/26 ) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-old women with only primary or pre-primary education is comparatively low. (26 %, rank 21/26 ) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among 25-64 year-old individuals with a tertiary education is comparatively low. (76 %, rank 35/36 ) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among individuals with an upper secondary or a post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively low. (62 %, rank 36/36 ) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among men without an upper secondary education is comparatively high. (75 %, rank 9/35 ) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among men with a tertiary education is comparatively low. (84 %, rank 33/36 ) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among women without an upper secondary education is comparatively low. (26 %, rank 35/35 ) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among women with an upper secondary or a post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively low. (30 %, rank 36/36 ) Download Indicator

    The employment rate among women with a tertiary education is comparatively low. (64 %, rank 35/36 ) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-29 year-olds who are neither employed nor in education or training is comparatively large in Turkey. (40 %, rank 1/34 ) Download Indicator


    General findings
    • Across almost all OECD countries, upper secondary attainment is the norm. On average, 75% of 25-64 year-olds and 82% of 25-34 year-olds had reached this level of attainment in 2011. However, despite notable strides, some countries remain far below the OECD average in upper secondary attainment. For example, in Mexico, Portugal and Turkey, less than 20% of the population had attained upper secondary education as the highest level of education in 2011.
    • Vocational education and training is a major factor in the educational attainment of people in many countries. In 2011, a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education was the highest level of attainment for more than 50% of 25-64 year-olds in Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia. However, in these countries, people tend to leave education after attaining upper secondary qualifications. In an additional 10 OECD countries, a vocational upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary attainment was the highest educational level for more than 30% of 25-64 year-olds.
    • Tertiary attainment levels have increased considerably over the last decades. On average across OECD countries, the proportion of 25-64 year-olds that hold a tertiary qualification has increased by 4.2% per year since 2000. However, even though tertiary attainment rates have increased in recent years, less than 35% of both men and women had attained a tertiary education in 2011.
    • If current tertiary attainment rates among 25-34 year-olds are maintained, the proportion of adults in France, Ireland, Japan and Korea who have a tertiary education will surpass that of other OECD countries, while the proportion in Austria, Brazil and Germany will fall further behind other OECD countries.
    • Significant progress has been achieved in reducing the gender gap in educational attainment and women have surpassed men in many aspects of education in OECD countries. Among 30-34 year-olds, more than 40% of women had a tertiary education in 2011, surpassing the rate of men with that level of education by about 8 percentage points. Tertiary attainment rates among young women have grown strongly in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Israel, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden, where 50% or more of younger women in that age group had attained tertiary education in 2011.
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    • Across OECD countries, employment rates are highest among people who have a tertiary education; and these individuals are also most likely to be employed full time.
    • Unemployment rates are nearly three times higher among individuals who do not have an upper secondary education (13% on average across OECD countries in 2011) than among those who have a tertiary education (5% in 2011).
    • Individuals who have at least an upper secondary education have a greater chance of being employed than those without that level of education.
    • Gender differences in employment rates are smallest among tertiary-educated individuals and largest among men and women who do not have an upper secondary education.
    • In all OECD countries, adults with tertiary education earn more than adults with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education, who, in turn, earn more than adults with a below upper secondary education.
    • On average across OECD countries, the difference in earnings between younger and older workers increases with educational attainment, benefitting more educated older workers. The earnings premium for tertiary-educated 55-64 year-olds is generally larger than that for all tertiary educated workers: in 2011, on average, the earnings differential between these two groups increased by 16 percentage points.
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    • In 2011, on average across OECD countries, 16% of 15-29 year-olds were neither employed nor in education or training (NEET) (7% unemployed and 9% inactive), as were 8% of 15-19 year-olds (2.7% unemployed and 5.8% inactive), and 20% of 25-29 year-olds (8% unemployed and 12% inactive).
    • In Chile, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Spain and Turkey, more than 20% of 15-29 year-olds were NEET in 2011 compared to less than 10% in Austria, Iceland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. Unemployment levels are particularly worrying in Greece (14.6% in 2011) and Spain (17.0% in 2011), as is inactivity among young people in those countries (7.1% and 7.5%, respectively, in 2011).
    • On average across OECD countries in 2011, 18% of 15-29 year-old women were NEET (12% inactive and 6% unemployed) as were 13% of 15-29 year-old men (7% unemployed and 6% inactive).
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    • In 2010, OECD countries spent an average of 6.3% of their GDP on educational institutions. Out of the 33 countries for which data were available, this proportion exceeded 7% in Denmark, Iceland, Israel, Korea, New Zealand, Norway and the United States. Only the Czech Republic, Hungary Italy, the Russian Federation and the Slovak Republic spent less than 5% of their GDP on educational institutions.
    • On average, OECD countries spent USD 9 313 annually per student from primary through tertiary education in 2010: USD 7 974 per primary student, USD 9 014 per secondary student and USD 13 528 per tertiary student. Spending per pre-primary student amounted to USD 6 762 per year.
    • While there was no clear global trend in how the proportion of public expenditure on education evolved during the economic crisis, in 14 out of the 30 countries with available data, public expenditure on education grew at a faster rate than public expenditure on all other services between 2008 and 2010.
    • Public funding accounted for 84% of all funds for educational institutions on average in OECD countries in 2010, and between 2000 and 2010, public funding increased for all levels of education combined. However, more pressure has been put on households to share the cost of education, and private funding increased at an even greater rate in more than three-quarters of countries. The share of public and private investment in education differs among education levels. Tertiary institutions and, to a lesser extent, pre-primary institutions obtain the largest proportions of funds from private sources (32% and 18%, respectively, in 2010).
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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 2011. In most countries, the student-teacher ratio decreases between primary and lower secondary school, despite an increase in class size. In 2011, there were, on average, about 14 students per teacher at the secondary level. At the tertiary level, there were, on average, about 16 students per teacher in OECD countries.
    • The number of teaching hours per teacher in public schools in 2011 averaged 790 hours per year in primary education, 709 hours in lower secondary education, and 664 hours in upper secondary education.
    • Teachers' statutory salaries vary widely across countries, but often increase with the level of education. In 2011, the statutory salaries of teachers with at least 15 years of experience averaged USD 36 135 at the pre-primary level, USD 38 136 at the primary level, USD 39 934 at the lower secondary level, and USD 41 665 at the upper secondary level. Between 2000 and 2011, teachers' salaries increased in real terms in most countries.
    • On average in OECD countries, pre-primary school teachers' salaries in 2011 amounted to 80% of full-time, full-year earnings of tertiary-educated adults working in different occupations. Primary school teachers' salaries amounted to 82% of that income, lower secondary school teachers' salaries amounted to 85% of that benchmark, and upper secondary school teachers' salaries amounted to 89% of those earnings.
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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.