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Data profiles:



China
Overview of the education system (EAG 2021)
  • In China, 18% of 25-34 year-old women had a tertiary qualification in 2010, the same share as men.
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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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    Attainment

    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. (64.3 %, rank 2/44 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The level of upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary attainment among 25-34 year-olds is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (17.7 %, rank 43/44 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The level of below upper secondary attainment among 25-64 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (75.5 %, rank 2/45 , 2020) 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. (14.8 %, rank 44/45 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The level of tertiary attainment among 25-64 year-olds is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (9.7 %, rank 46/46 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The level of tertiary attainment among 25-34 year-olds is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (17.9 %, rank 44/45 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The level of tertiary attainment among 55-64 year-olds is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (3.6 %, rank 45/45 , 2020) Download Indicator

    In China, the percentage of 25-64 year-olds who attained a bachelor's or equivalent tertiary education degree is one of the lowest among countries with available data. (3.5 %, rank 44/46 , 2020) Download Indicator

    China has one of the lowest percentages of 25-64 year-olds whose highest education level is a master's or equivalent tertiary education degree. (0.4 %, rank 42/43 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The level of below upper secondary attainment among 55-64 year-olds is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (88.1 %, rank 2/44 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The level of upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education attainment among 55-64 year-olds is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (8.3 %, rank 43/44 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Attainment by gender

    The proportion of 25-34 year-old men who have attained tertiary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (18.3 %, rank 43/45 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The proportion of 25-34 year-old women who have attained tertiary education is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (17.6 %, rank 43/45 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-34 year-old men who attained below upper secondary education in China is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (62.7 %, rank 1/44 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-34 year-old women who attained below upper secondary education in China is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (65.9 %, rank 2/44 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-34 year-old men who attained upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education in China is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (19 %, rank 43/44 , 2020) Download Indicator

    The share of 25-34 year-old women who attained upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education in China is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (16.5 %, rank 43/44 , 2020) Download Indicator

    Graduation by gender

    The share of female graduates from upper secondary general programmes is one of the smallest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (46.9 %, rank 42/42 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Among OECD and partner countries with available data, China has one of the smallest shares of women graduates from tertiary programmes. (53.1 %, rank 33/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Student mobility

    China has one of the smallest proportion of international or foreign students enrolled in tertiary education among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.4 %, rank 40/44 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Public and private expenditure in education

    Compared to 2015, the share of total government expenditure is comparatively high in China. (126 Index, rank 2/46 , 2018) Download Indicator


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    General findings
    
                            
    • One in five adults across the OECD has not attained upper secondary education.
    • In 2020, the unemployment rate of adults that had not completed upper secondary education was almost twice as high as those with higher qualifications, and 27% of these adults earn only at or below half the median on average across OECD countries.
    • In 2019, at least 10% of school-aged youth were not in school in about a quarter of OECD countries.
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    • In 2019, women made up 55% of new entrants to tertiary education on average. If current patterns continue, it is expected that 46% of young women will graduate with a tertiary degree for the first time before they turn 30, 15 percentage points more than men.
    • Women also earn on average about 76-78% of men’s salaries regardless of educational attainment, although the gender gap narrowed by 2 percentage points between 2013 and 2019.
    • Women are less likely than men to enter a STEM field of study, and the average share remained generally stable between 2013 and 2019.
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    • On average across countries, expenditure on educational institutions amounted to approximately USD 9 300 per student at pre-primary level; USD 10 500 at primary, secondary and post-secondary non tertiary level; and USD 17 100 at tertiary level.
    • The public sector funds 90% of total expenditure on primary and secondary institutions on average, often compulsory in most OECD countries, compared to 83% at pre-primary level and 66% at tertiary level.
    • In 2018, the OECD countries spent on average 4.9% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on primary to tertiary educational institutions.
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    • In 2019, less than 5% of pre-primary teachers were men, compared to 18% at primary level, 40% at upper secondary level and more than 50% at tertiary level on average.
    • Between 2005 and 2020, on average across OECD countries and economies with available data for all reference years, the statutory salaries of teachers with 15 years of experience and the most prevalent qualifications increased by 3% at primary level, 4% at lower secondary level (general programmes) and 2% at upper secondary level (general programmes).
    • In most countries, teachers above 50 years of age make up more than a third of the teaching force.
    • Attracting male teachers to the profession can be difficult: While the average actual salary of female teachers is equal to or higher than the average salary of other full-time, tertiary-educated women, primary and secondary male teachers earn between 76% and 85% of the average earnings of other full-time, tertiary-educated men.
    Visualisations
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    • On average across OECD countries, 87% of children aged 3-5 are enrolled in education on average across OECD countries compared to 25% for children below the age of 3.
    • There are 15 children for every teacher at pre-primary level on average across OECD countries.
    • Half of children enrolled in early childhood development services and a two-thirds of pre-primary children attend public institutions on average across OECD countries
    Visualisations
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    Key
    Diagram of funding flows - China

    Click on the coverpage to see the full OECD iLibrary version
    Key
    Country Reviews for China

    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 averages. 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 2021 for more details about the data collections.

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

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