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Colombia
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Diagram of the education system

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  • Diagram of education system in country language


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  • Education system in Colombia

    Colombia
    Overview of the education system (EAG 2019)
  • Colombia has one of the lowest shares of tertiary-educated adults, with very few expected to enrol in doctoral programmes. Having a tertiary degree, however, carries the second highest earnings premium among OECD countries.
  • Young women in Colombia have greater educational attainment but lower earnings than their male peers. In 2017, full-time female workers with a tertiary qualification still earned around 20% less than similarly educated men.
  • Stronger investment is needed to improve access to and quality of early childhood education and care across Colombia: the system faces low enrolment rates for 3-5 years-old, low levels of expenditure, and the highest ratio of children per teacher among OECD countries.
  • Colombian teachers with similar professional experience have the same salaries at all education levels but teaching time varies. Secondary teachers in Colombia have to teach 120 hours per year less than those at primary level but there are on average 7 more students per teacher at secondary level.
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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 average age of upper secondary graduates from vocational programmes in Colombia is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data (16.5 Years, rank 36/36 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Participation in education

    The enrolment rate of 6-14 year-olds in Colombia is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (87.7 %, rank 41/41 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The enrolment rate among 15-19 year-olds in Colombia is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (58.9 %, rank 39/39 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of four-year-olds in early childhood and primary education in Colombia is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (62.8 %, rank 39/42 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia the percentage of young people expected to enter bachelor's or equivalent programmes during their lifetimes is comparatively low. (31.1 %, rank 38/40 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of female students entering doctoral or equivalent programmes in Colombia is one of the smallest compared to other OECD countries and partner economies. (39.3 %, rank 38/40 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Graduation by gender

    In Colombia, the share of female doctoral graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is relatively high. (48 %, rank 2/42 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Graduation by field of education

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of arts and humanities is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (3.6 %, rank 40/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.9 %, rank 44/44 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of tertiary graduates in the field of information and communication technologies is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.6 %, rank 43/43 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of arts and humaties in Colombia is relatively small. (0.3 %, rank 45/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of sciences, journalism and information in Colombia is relatively small. (2.1 %, rank 45/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of business, administration and law in Colombia is relatively large. (41.6 %, rank 1/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics in Colombia is relatively small. (0 %, rank 45/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of doctoral graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction in Colombia is relatively large. (29.5 %, rank 1/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Fields of education

    In Colombia, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of arts and humanities is relatively low. (4.2 %, rank 33/35 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is relatively low. (1.7 %, rank 34/35 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, the percentage of new entrants to tertiary education in the field of health and welfare is relatively low. (6.2 %, rank 34/35 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (62.7 %, rank 34/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of female who enter tertiary education in the field of arts and humanities is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (48.7 %, rank 34/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of national tertiary students enrolled in the field of arts and humanities in Colombia is relatively low. (4.3 %, rank 35/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of national tertairy students enrolled in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics in Colombia is relatively low. (1.8 %, rank 37/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The percentage of national tertiary students enrolled in the field of health and welfare in Colombia is relatively low. (7.4 %, rank 37/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, the share of female among new entrants to doctoral programmes enrolled in the field of education is relatively small. (50.4 %, rank 32/33 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Student mobility

    Colombia has one of the smallest proportion of international or foreign students enrolled in tertiary education among OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.2 %, rank 43/46 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of international students entering doctoral or equivalent programmes in Colombia is relatively small. (2.7 %, rank 34/35 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, the share of international and foreign students enrolled in doctoral or equivalent programmes is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with avaialble data. (2.6 %, rank 36/39 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, international students from Latin America and the Caribbean are most represented among all international students, compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (82.7 %, rank 4/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, international students from Asia are least represented among all international students, compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (1.7 %, rank 43/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, international students from Africa are lowest represented among all international students, compared to other OECD and partner countries with available data. (0.5 %, rank 45/45 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Student mobility by field of education

    The percentage of international tertairy students enrolled in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics in Colombia is relatively low. (1.7 %, rank 35/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, the share of international and foreign students among all students in the field of education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with avaialble data. (0.2 %, rank 36/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, the share of international and foreign students among all students in the field of arts and humanities is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with avaialble data. (0.4 %, rank 37/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, the share of international and foreign students among all students in the field of social sciences, journalism and information is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with avaialble data. (0.3 %, rank 37/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, the share of international and foreign students among all students in the field of business, administration and law is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with avaialble data. (0.1 %, rank 35/36 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, the share of international and foreign students among all students in the field of Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with avaialble data. (0.2 %, rank 37/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, the share of international and foreign students among all students in the field of information and communication technologies is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with avaialble data. (0.1 %, rank 36/36 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, the share of international and foreign students among all students in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with avaialble data. (0.1 %, rank 37/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, the share of international and foreign students among all students in the field of health and welfare is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with avaialble data. (0.4 %, rank 35/37 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, the share of international and foreign students among all students in the field of services is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with avaialble data. (0.2 %, rank 34/36 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, the percentage of international doctoral graduates in the field of Natural sciences, mathematics and statistics is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (6.3 %, rank 31/33 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, the percentage of international doctoral graduates in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (12.5 %, rank 30/33 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Resources for education

    In Colombia, the salary cost of primary teachers per student is comparatively low. (1416 USD Equivalent, rank 26/30 , 2017) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, the salary cost of lower-secondary teachers per student is comparatively low. (1274 USD Equivalent, rank 28/30 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The salary cost of upper secondary teachers per students (in USD) in Colombia is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1384 USD Equivalent, rank 16/16 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Expenditure per student

    Annual expenditure per tertiary student is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (5787 USD Equivalent, rank 35/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per student from primary to tertiary level is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (3661 USD Equivalent, rank 34/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per pupil at the pre-primary level is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1579 USD Equivalent, rank 31/31 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per primary student is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (3323 USD Equivalent, rank 34/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per secondary student is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (3066 USD Equivalent, rank 35/35 , 2016) 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 partner countries with available data. (3184 USD Equivalent, rank 34/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per student for core, ancillary services and R&D, from primary to tertiary institutions is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (3661 USD Equivalent, rank 34/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Annual expenditure per student for core, ancillary services and research and development, from tertiary institutions is one of the lowest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (5787 USD Equivalent, rank 35/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, the total expenditure on educational institutions per full-time equivalent student in primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary, is relatively low. (3184 USD Equivalent, rank 34/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Expenditure in education and national wealth

    In Colombia, private expenditure on educational institutions as a percentage of GDP on primary to tertiary education from final source of funds is relatively high. (1.7 %, rank 5/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Public and private expenditure in education

    The share of private expenditure on pre-primary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (28.1 %, rank 5/31 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The share of private expenditure on all levels below tertiary education is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (21.8 %, rank 2/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Colombia has one of the largest shares of private expenditure on primary through tertiary educational institutions among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (30.3 %, rank 4/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, the share of public expenditure on educational institutions, for primary secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education is comparatively small. (78.2 %, rank 34/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    In Colombia, the share of public expenditure on educational institutions, for primary to tertiary education is comparatively small. (69.6 %, rank 31/35 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Expenditure on all children aged 3 to 5 enrolled in early childhood and primary education is one of the highest in Colombia compared to OECD and partner countries with available data. (45 USD Equivalent, rank 3/30 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Teachers

    The number of days of instruction in a school year in lower secondary school is especially high. (200 Days, rank 3/33 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The number of hours per year pre-primary teachers spend teaching in public institutions is comparatively low in Colombia. (800 Hours, rank 22/26 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Who the teachers are

    The share of women among teaching staff in lower secondary education is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (53.1 %, rank 36/39 , 2017) 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. (46.2 %, rank 36/39 , 2017) 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. (36.4 %, rank 20/20 , 2017) Download Indicator

    The share of women among teaching staff is one of the smallest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (60 %, rank 30/32 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Teachers' salaries progression

    The salary progression from the start to the top of the salary scale for a lower secondary school teacher is among the most rewarding among OECD and partner countries with available data. (2.1 Ratio, rank 3/34 , 2018) Download Indicator

    It takes lower secondary teachers less time to progress through the salary scale in Colombia compared to other OECD and partner countries. (9 Years, rank 23/25 , 2018) Download Indicator

    In lower secondary education, the salary ratio of teachers with maximum qualifications at the top of the salary scale to those with minimum training and starting salaries is comparatively high. (3.78 Ratio, rank 1/34 , 2017) Download Indicator

    Migrant background

    Earnings of foreign-born aged between 25 and 64 who work full- and part-time with tertiary education are high compared to those of native-born with the same characteristics. (213 Index, rank 1/21 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Ratio of student to teaching staff

    The number of students per teacher in tertiary institutions is one of the highest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (31.3 Ratio, rank 1/30 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The number of students per teacher in primary schools is one of the highest among OECD countries and partner countries with available data. (23.6 Ratio, rank 5/41 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The number of students per teacher in secondary schools is one of the largest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (26 Ratio, rank 4/38 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Organisation of the education system

    In Colombia, compulsory instruction time for lower secondary students, in hours per year, is one of the longest among OECD and partner countries with available data. (1200 Hours, rank 1/36 , 2019) Download Indicator

    Classes in lower secondary public institutions are comparatively large in Colombia. (31 Students, rank 3/34 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Unemployment and educational attainment

    Among the unemployed population aged between 25 and 64 with below upper secondary education, the share of those who have been unemployed for at least 12 months is one of the smallest in Colombia, compared to other OECD countries. (7.8 %, rank 36/38 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Among the unemployed population aged between 25 and 64 with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education, the share of those who have been unemployed for at least 12 months is one of the smallest in Colombia, compared to other OECD countries. (12 %, rank 35/38 , 2018) Download Indicator

    Earnings and educational attainment

    The proportion of male full-time earners among all earners aged 35 to 44 without upper secondary education is comparatively high. (85.4 %, rank 2/29 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The earnings of men without an upper secondary education are relatively low compared to those of men with an upper secondary education. (70 Index, rank 33/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    The earnings of women without an upper secondary education are relatively low compared to those of women with an upper secondary education. (69 Index, rank 33/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    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 high. (224 Index, rank 3/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Earnings of women as a percentage of men's earnings (25-64 year-olds with income from employment) are one of the highest among countries with available data. (97.9 %, rank 2/37 , 2016) Download Indicator

    Neither in education nor employed

    The proportion of 15-19 year-olds who are neither employed nor in education or training is comparatively large in Colombia. (19.4 %, rank 1/40 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 15-19 years-old men neither employed nor in education or training is one of the highest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (14 %, rank 3/39 , 2018) Download Indicator

    The percentage of 15-19 years-old women neither employed nor in education or training is one of the highest among OECD countries and partner economies with available data. (25.1 %, rank 1/40 , 2018) Download Indicator


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    General findings
    
                            
    • In 2018, 44% of 25-34 year-olds held a tertiary degree, compared to 35% in 2008, on average across OECD countries.
    • Tertiary-educated adults also reap higher earnings, although this varies by field of study. Their advantage increases with age too: 25-34 year-olds with tertiary education earn 38% more than their peers with upper secondary education while 45-54 year-olds earn 70% more.
    • While engineering, manufacturing and construction, and information and communication technologies are two fields most commonly associated with the best labour market outcomes, only 14% of graduates earned a degree in the former and 4% earned a degree in the latter in 2017.
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    • Although graduation from upper secondary education increased by 6 percentage points between 2005 and 2017, 15% of 25-34 year-olds did not attain upper secondary education in 2018, on average across OECD countries.
    • In some countries, vocational programmes are prominent at the upper secondary level. On average across OECD countries, 40% of first-time upper secondary graduates earned a vocational qualification in 2017; in Austria, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, more than 66% of this population did.
    • At the lower secondary level, the average class shrank by 6% while teachers' statutory salaries increased by 8% between 2005 and 2017, on average across OECD countries.
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    • In 2017, more than one in three children under the age of three were enrolled in early childhood education and care services, on average across OECD countries - an increase of 7 percentage points compared to 2010.
    • Between the age of 3 to 5, on average across OECD countries, 87% of children are enrolled in pre-primary and primary education.
    • Annual expenditure per child in early childhood development programmes was greater than in pre-primary education in 2016 on average across OECD countries. However, as a share of GDP, expenditure on early childhood development is lower.
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    • In 2016, expenditure per tertiary student amounted to USD 15 556, approximately one-third of which was devoted to research and development.
    • Private sources financed more than 30% of the expenditure, on average, at the tertiary level compared to 10% at primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary level.
    • OECD countries spent an average of 3.5% of GDP on primary, secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary institutions in 2016, and public expenditure at this level increased by 18% since 2005.
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    • About 10% of primary and secondary teachers are under the age of 30, on average across OECD countries.
    • While the teaching profession is dominated by women, the share of female teachers decreases with the level of education taught: almost all teachers at the pre-primary level are women, however they make up less than half of the teaching force at tertiary level.
    • Salaries tend to increase with the level of education taught, but teachers' earnings remain between 78% and 93% of the earnings of other tertiary-educated adults.
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    Key
    Country Reviews for Colombia

    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 2019 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.