In Nederland voltooit meer dan 40% van de jongeren een hogere opleiding. Dit geldt ook voor Denemarken, Finland, IJsland, Italië, Nieuw Zeeland, Noorwegen en Polen. In landen met de hoogste percentages op dit punt is de studieduur over het algemeen kort. Zo lukt het in Duitsland en Oostenrijk -landen met veelal erg lange studieprogramma’s- niet om meer dan 20% van de jongeren een HO-graad te laten bemachtigen.
Ook het percentage jongeren dat deelneemt aan hoger onderwijs blijft stijgen – het gaat nu internationaal om 50% van de jongeren met een middelbare schooldiploma, in sommige landen zelfs om 75%. Dit betekent echter niet dat de salarissen voor hoger opgeleiden in die landen is gedaald. In de meeste landen is er zelfs sprake van een stijging.
Voorts schrijft de OECD:
“In countries where university education has expanded most, this has not gone hand in hand with deteriorating employment prospects for the lesser qualified, contrary to what many predict. Between 1995 and 2004, France, Ireland and Korea had the fastest growth in higher education attainment and saw unemployment among the less-well qualified decline or rise only marginally. By contrast, Germany, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic had little or no growth in higher education attainment between 1995 and 2004 and substantial growth in unemployment among the less- well qualified.
In all countries the penalties for not completing upper secondary education are significant. On average, unemployment rates among people who do not complete high school are five percentage points higher than people who complete upper secondary education and seven points higher than people with university degrees.
The successful integration of immigrants into schooling systems is a major equity challenge in many countries. The poorer performance of first generation immigrant students compared with their native counterparts represents more than a year’s worth of study.
Countries are collectively spending more than they have ever done on education, with expenditure increasing in real terms by more than 40% since 1995. But the results gained from that investment are far from maximized. Analysis suggests that given current levels of expenditure, learning outcomes could be increased by 22%.
Looking ahead, financing the expansion of higher education will be an issue for many countries. Spending per student has already begun to decline in some, as enrolments rise faster than overall spending on higher education. Innovative financing and student support policies that mobilize extra public and private funding will be part of the answer, and many countries are moving successfully in this direction, in some cases without creating barriers for student participation.
The Nordic countries, for example, have achieved high levels of participation in higher education while relying mainly on public spending, including support both of institutions and of students and households. Australia, Japan, Korea, New Zealand and the U.K. have expanded participation in higher education by relying more on the financial contributions of students and households.
In contrast, many Continental European countries are not investing more public money in their universities nor are universities allowed to charge tuition fees, with the result that the European average for spending per higher education student is now well below half that of the U.S.”
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