How does New Zealand's education system compare?
OECD's Education at a Glance 2010
Every year, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) publishes Education at a Glance, a set of indicators that compares the education systems of its member countries, and participating partner countries.
The report How does New Zealand's education system compare? draws on the New Zealand data in Education at a Glance 2010 and summarises the characteristics and performance of New Zealand's education system in an international context.
Author(s): David Scott and Paul Gini, Strategy and System Performance, Ministry of Education.
Date Published: September 2010
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Chapter 6: The social benefits of education in New Zealand
Health status and interest in politics in New Zealand increase with level of education as in other OECD countries. New Zealand has one of the highest levels of self-reported health status across all levels of education, and the smallest difference between least and most educated. We also have a more uniform interest in politics; New Zealanders with low qualifications have more interest in politics than similarly-educated adults in other countries, while tertiary educated adults have less; and overall, we are about average.
First introduced in 2009, EAG 2010 includes three social indicators: health status, interest in politics, and interpersonal trust – and compares differences by education level across OECD countries. New Zealand data is available for the first two of these. All three indicators generally show a positive relationship with education, increasing as level of education increases.
Compared with other OECD countries, New Zealand has one of the highest levels of self-reported health status across any level of education, and along with Ireland and Sweden the smallest gap between least and most educated. Around 82% of adults with below upper secondary education rated their health as very good or excellent – the highest in the OECD, where the mean was 61%. For New Zealand adults with a tertiary education, 92% rated their health as at least very good, the 3rd= highest in the OECD, where the average was 83%.
New Zealand has a much more uniform interest in politics across education levels than is the case in other OECD countries. Interest in politics is higher for those with less than upper secondary (ranked 8th out of 27 countries), about average (ranked 12th) for those with upper secondary education, and below average for tertiary educated (ranked 25th).
Figure 17: Percentage of adults aged 25-64 reporting their health as at least very good – by level of education (2008)
Figure 18: Percentage of adults expressing interest in politics – by level of education (2008)
Sources and further information on this section:
Education at a Glance 2010: OECD Indicators, Chapter A9. Figure 15: Table A9.1; Figure 16: Table A9.2.
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