According to new report analyzing education systems, 46 percent of Israelis earn academic degrees • Canada tops list of OECD countries at 51%, while the U.S. at 42% is falling behind countries that are increasing degree attainment levels at a higher rate.
Among OECD countries, Israel boasts the second-highest percentage of adults (ages 25-64) with academic degrees, with only Canada ranked higher. According to a new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s 2012 Education at a Glance, 46 percent of Israelis have higher education degrees, while in Canada the figure stands at 51%.
The Russian Federation (not a member of the OECD), Japan, and the United States also ranked high with 54%, 45%, and 42%, respectively.
The report analyzed the education systems of the 34 OECD member countries, in addition to Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.
The OECD has found that while the U.S. boasts high education attainment levels overall, its rate of improvement in higher education attainment levels lags below average compared to other OECD and G20 countries, the Huffington Post reported. Between 2000 and 2010, attainment levels in the U.S. increased by an average of 1.3% annually, while its OECD counterparts boasted a 3.7% increase per year overall.
“Based on these trends, the U.S. may find that an increasing number of countries will approach or surpass its attainment levels in the coming years. Other countries in this situation include Estonia, Finland, Israel and the Russian Federation,” said the report.
American students are also less likely than their foreign peers to get more education than their parents. Only 29% of Americans whose parents did not attain higher education will themselves attain it. This ranks as one of the lowest levels among OECD countries.
The report also shows that “participation of teachers’ unions in decision-making on duties and conditions of work, salary scales and instruction time is notable in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Israel and Sweden.”
In his editorial statement, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría emphasized the need for countries “to strike a careful balance between providing appropriate public support for education and requiring students and families to cover some of the costs.”