Universities ahead for technology in education, finds OECD

Primary and secondary education can learn from higher education when it comes to adopting innovative technologies, it has been claimed.

July 26, 2014

According to the Measuring Innovation in Education: A New Perspective, Educational Research and Innovation report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, “innovation intensity” is greatest in higher education, and well above the rate in primary and secondary education.

The report, published on 21 July, draws on an OECD survey of university graduates working in 38 countries, and finds that 80 per cent of those employed in higher education believe their employer is at least “sometimes” at the forefront of adopting innovations, compared with 70 and 67 per cent for the primary and secondary school sectors respectively. 

Some 46 per cent of the respondents in higher education say their employer was “mostly” at the forefront, the report reveals, compared with 31 per cent in primary, 30 per cent in secondary, and 41 per cent across all sectors of the economy.

In addition, the report finds that higher education employees were far more likely to be in jobs that they felt utilised innovative “knowledge and methods” (59 per cent) than those working in the secondary school sector (42 per cent).

This trend continued in relation to “products and services”, with 29 per cent of tertiary education staff saying their employer was innovative in this area compared with just 20 per cent of those at secondary level.

“Within education, innovation intensity is greatest in higher education, with secondary and primary education approximately equal,” the report concludes.

“Higher education stands out in terms of speed of adopting innovation, above the economy average, and well above the rate in primary and secondary education.”

chris.parr@tsleducation.com

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