Time is money: cumulative spending per OECD student

July 4, 2013

The UK spends $43,463 (£28,350) per student over the course of their higher education studies, data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development show.

Figures in Education at a Glance 2013, published on 25 June, show how total spending per student (in US dollars and adjusted for purchasing power) varied by country in 2010. The UK spent one of the lowest total amounts, below the OECD average and behind Spain, France and the Republic of Ireland. This is partly accounted for by the shorter average duration of UK courses.

Of the countries for which data for both measures are available, the UK had the lowest average duration of tertiary studies – which include foundation work plus under- and post-graduate degrees – at 2.74 years. The US had a similar average duration at 3.17 years, but spent an average of $81,076 per student.

One of the longest average study periods was in the Netherlands (5.26 years), with correspondingly high spending ($90,269 per student).

Source: OECD, Education at a Glance 2013
Notes: For Belgium, the reference year is 2008. For the UK, the average duration of tertiary studies is estimated based on national data. Data for Hungary, Republic of Ireland and Switzerland refer to public institutions only

elizabeth.gibney@tsleducation.com

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