Japan ranked last among 34 nations for public spending on education in 2014: OECD

JIJI

Japan ranked at the bottom of among 34 comparable Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member countries in public spending on education in 2014, falling to the lowest position for the first time in two years, an OECD survey showed Tuesday.

In 2013, Japan came 32nd among 33 OECD countries.

The latest survey showed that the nation’s expenditure on education stood at 3.2 percent of gross national product against the OECD average of 4.4 percent.

The proportion was the highest in Denmark, at 6.3 percent, followed by Norway, at 6.1 percent, and Iceland, at 5.7 percent.

The proportion of public financial support for higher education, such as universities, came to 34 percent in Japan, compared with the OECD average of 70 percent and the second-lowest after Britain’s 28 percent.

An OECD official noted the financial burden for education on households in Japan is also very large, due in part to high tuition fees. The official pointed to a need for the country to devise measures to enable talented young people to have easier access to higher education.

The survey also found that the proportion of Japanese women who were enrolled in science and technology departments at universities stood at 16 percent, the lowest among OECD countries.