June/July 2013

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OECD Education and Skills Newsletter
Bringing you the highlights from the OECD Directorate for Education and Skills

Spotlight on

This issue of our newsletter brings to you the key education findings and policy directions emerging from recent OECD analysis in a single accessible free source.

Education at a Glance 2013: OECD Indicators
The latest OECD education indicators on enrolment rates, employment rates and investment in education observed in the first years of the crisis indicate how education and skills determine the way individuals, families and societies as a whole fared during the most challenging economic and social crisis in recent history. Investing in education works, evidence from the OECD Education at a Glance publication shows that those who get a higher degree in a field of study in high demand find work more easily and earn higher wages. Young people are literally learning their way out of the crisis. 

This year’s report includes new indicators on links between education levels and employment; data on the economic crisis, showing that education remains the best protection against unemployment; the relationship between fields of education and tuition fees, unemployment rates and earnings premiums; and trend data and analysis for all the key indicators.

News roundup

The OECD Action Plan for Youth
The OECD Action Plan for Youth was endorsed at the Organisation’s annual Ministerial Meeting in Paris, ministers underlined the need to focus attention on the most disadvantaged youth, including the low-skilled and immigrants, who are at most risk of long-term unemployment and social exclusion.

Education Policy Outlook: Country Profiles
The first set from the series of individual countries’ education policy profiles have been published for Australia, Czech Republic, Ireland and New Zealand. These clearly written profiles examine the challenges and policy responses according to six policy levers that support improvement for students, institutions and the system. From 2014, the Education Policy Outlook publication will also offer a comparative review of trends and specific reforms across countries.

Thomas J. Alexander Fellowship
The Thomas J. Alexander Fellowship Programme launched a second call for proposals and received nearly 40 applications. The programme supports individuals in conducting quantitative, evidence-based research on education, particularly in emerging economies with funding for up to one year, including time spent at the OECD headquarters in Paris.

OECD PISA for Parents Facebook page
This new Facebook page provides parents with a look inside the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a worldwide study that measures 15-year-olds' real-world skills in reading, mathematics and science. The page shines a light on what it means for parents and their teens.

OECD-Tohoku school project
The OECD has launched an initiative project with the Japanese Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Fukushima University and local schools for students in the Tohoku region. An event took place in March where 16 students from Tohoku came to visit the OECD in Paris with their teachers to showcase the country’s recovery from the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake.

OECD Higher Education Programme Workshops
The OECD Higher Education Programme (IMHE) is organising a series of workshops exclusively for its members on: enhancing internships; quality teaching; Open Educational Resources; and new strategies for the commercialisation of public research, amongst other topics.

Strong Performers and Successful Reformers
Netherlands and Flanders, Belgium have been added to the video series profiling policies and practices of education systems that demonstrate high or improving performance in the PISA tests.

Skills beyond School
A Skills Beyond School commentary on Iceland was published in April summarising the strengths and challenges in their system. Reviews on Austria, Germany (in English and German) and the United States (with case studies of Florida, Maryland and Washington State) will be published in early July.

Skills Strategy Spotlight Series
Two new papers have been published on “Apprenticeships and Workplace Learning” and “Skills for the Digital Economy”.

Integrity of public education in Tunisia
As part of a bigger effort in the context of the OECD CleanGovBiz initiative, the Tunisian authorities have requested the OECD to carry out a preliminary integrity scan of the Tunisian public education system. The scan provides a first overview of areas in pre-university and tertiary education that are at risk and suggests policy responses.

Just Published
Education at a Glance 2013: OECD Indicators
Education at a Glance is the authoritative source for accurate and relevant information on the state of education around the world. It provides data on the structure, finances, and performance of education systems.
Synergies for Better Learning: An International Perspective on Evaluation and Assessment
This report provides advice to countries on how evaluation and assessment arrangements can be embedded within a consistent framework to improve the quality, equity and efficiency of school education.
Art for Art's Sake? The Impact of Arts Education
Arts education is often said to be a means of developing critical and creative thinking. This report examines the state of empirical knowledge about the impact of arts education on these kinds of outcomes.
Forthcoming Events

4-5 July 2013
International Conference: “Skilling the Future – VET and Workplace Learning for Economic Success”, Leipzig, Germany (during the WorldSkills Leipzig 2013 event).
8 October 2013
Launch of Skills Outlook 2013 with results of the OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC).
3 December 2013
Launch of PISA 2012, focussing on mathematical literacy. PISA: OECD Programme for International Student Assessment.

Policy Papers

PISA in Focus
• Do immigrant students' reading skills depend on how long they've been in their new country?
• What makes urban schools different?
• Does it matter which school a student attends?

Education Indicators in Focus
• How difficult is it to move from school to work?
• Which factors determine the level of expenditure on teaching staff?

Teaching in Focus
• Fostering learning communities among teachers


Education at a Glance 2013: data visualisation

• Key indicators on education
• PISA International Database
• Education at a Glance raw data

Global perspectives on Education

Education: the best protection against an economic crisis, by Dirk Van Damme, Head of the Innovation and Measuring Progress division, Directorate for Education and Skills

Getting our youth back to work, by Andreas Schleicher, Deputy Director and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the OECD Secretary-General

Evolving attitudes towards early childhood education, by Barbara Ischinger, Director for Education and Skills

Does it matter which school a student attends? by Marilyn Achiron, Editor, Directorate for Education and Skills

Top tweets @OECD Edu
Fukushima schools re-build after disaster click here
How are countries around the world helping youth stay in school, build skills & careers? click here
What does education mean to you? Watch what it means to others around the world click here
Strengthen evaluation to improve student learning, says new OECD report click here

Watch short film on how Dutch education authorities are striving to ensure high student performance by raising teachers' professional qualifications and enhancing their teaching skills
Working Papers

Understanding School Building Policy and Practice in Belgium's Flemish Community, by Geert Leemans and Hannah von Ahlefeld
Sparking Innovation in STEM Education with Technology and Collaboration, by Kiira Kärkkäinen and Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin
• Review of the Italian Strategy for Digital Schools, by Francesco Avvisati, Sara Hennessy, Robert B. Kozma and Stéphan Vincent-Lancrin
• Learning from International Experiences with Interactive Whiteboards, by Sara Hennessy and Laura London

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