How does New Zealand's education system compare? OECD's Education at a Glance 2018

Publication Details

This summary report, How Does New Zealand’s Education System Compare? OECDs Education at a Glance, is an annual Ministry of Education publication designed to complement the release of the 2018 EAG. It contextualises and more closely examines how New Zealand’s education system compares, noting areas where it performed above or below OECD averages.

Data for the report stems from three periods: educational attainment and labour market outcomes uses 2017 data, other non-financial indicators 2016 data, and financial indicators 2015 data (for New Zealand this is the 2015/2016 financial year).

Author(s): Beth Rust and Zane Verran, Ministry of Education

Date Published: September 2018

New Zealand's Education System at a Glance

  • New Zealand invests more in education as a share of gross domestic product than any other OECD country, except Norway.
  • National rates of enrolment in early childhood education and care are above the OECD average, as is the investment per child in early childhood education.
  • While enrolment rates for five to fourteen year olds (the majority of compulsory schooling years) compares well with the OECD average, New Zealand’s enrolment rate for fifteen to nineteen year olds is below the OECD average.
  • New Zealand has the second-highest proportion of international students in tertiary study across the OECD.
  • The difference between tertiary fees paid by local and international students in New Zealand is the widest in the OECD.
  • Education and employment rates for those born abroad living in New Zealand are the best in the OECD. They are less likely to be NEET (Not in Employment, Education, or Training) compared to those born locally and least likely to be NEET within the OECD.
  • Compared to other OECD countries, New Zealand has an above-average proportion of the population with a bachelor’s degree. In contrast, fewer people earn a master’s degree than the OECD average.
  • Comparing OECD average earning advantages, those with a tertiary qualification in New Zealand hold a narrower earnings advantage than those without.
  • Gender disparities in earnings and employment opportunities remain, regardless of education level, consistent with OECD results.