• Angel Gurría, OECD secretary-general, said tertiary education, although it has made great strides, is facing great uncertainty, particularly from the rise of artificial intelligence, which is fundamentally changing the way some jobs are carried out.
  • In 2018, 44% of 25- to 34-year-olds held a tertiary degree, compared to 35% in 2008, on average across the OECD countries, according to the organisation’s Education at a Glance 2019 report.
  • But despite the jump in numbers, not enough are taking degrees in some of the fields most associated with technological progress and with the best labour market outcomes, the OECD warns: only 14% of graduates earned a degree in engineering, manufacturing and construction, and only 4% in information and communication technologies. Women are particularly under-represented, making up less than 25% of entrants into those two fields.
  • The OECD noted that providing financial support mechanisms has helped make tertiary education more accessible to more people. In countries with the highest tuition fees, more than 70% of students benefit from grants or loans.

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