Returns on higher education and labour market linkages: latest OECD findings
Chair: Anna Glass, OECD, France
Adam Krcal, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, Czech Republic
Why a need for developing a quality framework?
- Massive expansion of higher education.
- Greater diversity in terms of study programmes.
- Broader spread of institutions’ social missions.
- Different types of provision to meet the needs of new student populations: distant learning programmes, changing labour patterns, re-skilling needs…
- Decentralization process in Higher Education: greater and broader autonomy.
- Chang in internal structure of Higher Education systems: more diversified, bigger institutions, budget constraints.
What is "quality" in higher education? How can we monitor it? How can we assure it?
Three main purposes of a quality framework: acountability, transparency and improvement.
Patricia Mangeol, OECD/IMHE, France
There is an increase of students in Higher Education in the OECD, which also implies upward or downward social mobility in relationship with their parents —usually upward mobility is greater than downward mobility, though the latter is existent all across the OECD.
People coming out of higher education have more/better skills in terms of literacy than those with lower levels of education. But the performance in different education levels varies quite a lot across the OECD. E.g. in the US the gap between the top and the bottom is huge. On the other hand, the top level of performance is different between countries. E.g. in Japan +30% of their higher education graduates score highest in literacy, while in Spain only less of 10% do.
Individuals with Higher Education are more employed and earn more —of course, as an aggregate.
More education is related with stating being in good health, having a say in government, volunteering at least once a month, or reporting that one can trust others. Education has strong social returns.
Is the investment in education worth? Yes, but the return of the investment —as measured in net present value— varies between the private and the public net returns. Normally, private returns are higher than public returns. But, in any case, both public and private returns are positive and generally not small.
What happened with the crisis?
In general, it impacted negatively (with more unemployment) the lowest levels of education, not that much in secondary educatino and very very much less for highly educated people.
The crisis did not only impact people putting them out of their jobs, but also the public expenditure on education. In general, though, most countries kept on spending (as a % of the GDP) on education institutions despite the fall of GDP [comment: this indicator is misleading, as some countries did cut on education expenditure, but as their GDPs dropped, the ratio still looks as they did increase the expenditure on education].