Cover of higher education & research in France, facts and figures

The Spending on tertiary education indicator published by the OECD differs slightly from the domestic expenditure on education indicator used in France in the satellite Education Account. The OECD indicator looks at 'education expenditure provided through education institutions'. Thus – unlike the domestic education expenditure indicator for tertiary education (chapter 01) – it does not include education expenditure by households outside the institutions (books, supplies, private lessons, clothing, etc.).

In addition, as regards tertiary education activities, the OECD covers a wider scope of research than the Education Account, as it includes all research spending aimed at education, as calculated for the OECD's Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, in other words including research bodies such as the National Centre for Scientific Research (Centre national de la research scientifique - CNRS) or the National Institute for Medicine and Medical Research (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médical - INSERM). This indicator is expressed in $PPP ($US equivalents) converted using purchasing power parity for GDP, a currency conversion rate that enables purchasing power in different currencies to be expressed in a single currency unit.

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02 expenditure on tertiary education in OECD countries

This page has been updated. Read 02. expenditure on tertiary education in OECD countries in Higher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017

In 2011, average expenditure per student in France was above the OECD average. Since 2005, it has increased more rapidly than in the majority of countries. However, national expenditure on tertiary education is still slightly below the average (1.5% of GDP against 1.6%).

International comparisons of education expenditure are somewhat difficult due to the demographic and socio-economic diversity of the different countries and their national education systems. In tertiary education, this difficulty is reinforced by the wide variety of educational structures at this level. Nevertheless, the situation of France can be assessed using some general indicators.

The amount of expenditure on education as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the indicator which provides the best overall assessment of the effort made in practical terms by all financers of national education systems (chart 02.01). With 1.5% of GDP devoted to tertiary education in 2011, France is close to the average for OECD countries (1.6%). It is ahead of other European countries such as Germany (1.3%), the United Kingdom (1.2%), and Italy (1.0%) but lags behind the Netherlands (1.8%) and the Scandinavian countries (between 1.7 and 1.9%). There are three countries whose expenditure on tertiary education is very much higher than the average: Canada (2.8% in 2010), the United States (2.7%) and South Korea (2.6%).

If we compare annual expenditure per student in tertiary education in the different countries, we can see a different country hierarchy emerging compared with the previous indicator (chart 02.02). In 2011, the United States pulled ahead sharply with its high level of expenditure ($26,020 PPP), followed by Canada, Denmark and Sweden, which spent more than $20,000 PPP per student. France spent $15,380 PPP per student, or 10% more than the OECD average ($14,000 PPP). This expenditure was higher than that of Italy or Spain, but lower than that of Germany and Japan.

Between 2005 and 2011, average expenditure per student in France increased more rapidly than the average for the OECD countries (+15% against +10%) (chart 02.02). There was also a sharp increase in South Korea (+40%), Ireland (+21%), and Finland (+21%). Conversely, a drop in the level of annual expenditure per student could be seen between 2005 and 2011 in Norway (-2%) and the United States (-4%).

In tertiary education in the OECD countries, the relative share of public expenditure (central government, local authorities and other public administrative bodies) is greater than private expenditure (households and other private financers such as companies), with an OECD average of 69.2% to 30.8%, (chart 02.04). In the Scandinavian countries and Belgium, expenditure on tertiary education institutions is almost all public (greater than or equal to 90%). In contrast, in South Korea, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States and Australia, funding is predominantly private. In France, public funding is around 80.8%, well above the OECD average (+11.6 points).

How to cite this paper :

RUDOLF Marguerite. Expenditure on tertiary education in OECD countries. In: Higher education & research in France, facts and figures - 49 indicators [online]. KABLA-LANGLOIS Isabelle (dir.). Paris: Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, 2015. 8th ed. Chapter 02, 14-15 [Accessed 07/21/2019]. ISBN 978-2-11-139433-9. https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/8EN/EESR8EN_ES_02-expenditure_on_tertiary_education_in_oecd_countries.php

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The Spending on tertiary education indicator published by the OECD differs slightly from the domestic expenditure on education indicator used in France in the satellite Education Account. The OECD indicator looks at 'education expenditure provided through education institutions'. Thus – unlike the domestic education expenditure indicator for tertiary education (chapter 01) – it does not include education expenditure by households outside the institutions (books, supplies, private lessons, clothing, etc.).

In addition, as regards tertiary education activities, the OECD covers a wider scope of research than the Education Account, as it includes all research spending aimed at education, as calculated for the OECD's Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, in other words including research bodies such as the National Centre for Scientific Research (Centre national de la research scientifique - CNRS) or the National Institute for Medicine and Medical Research (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médical - INSERM). This indicator is expressed in $PPP ($US equivalents) converted using purchasing power parity for GDP, a currency conversion rate that enables purchasing power in different currencies to be expressed in a single currency unit.

 

Key figure


Domestic education expenditure devoted to higher education as a share of GDP
1.5%
 
2011
Whole of France
 
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Extract from the chapter "02. expenditure on tertiary education in OECD countries".

Source: MENESR-DEPP

02.01 Annual expenditure by higher education institutions in 2011 (% of GDP)

IT
 
DE
BE
FR
OECD
NO
NL
FI
US
 
 
GB
ES
IE
JP
AU
SE
DK
KR
 
CA 1
 
 

1 2010.

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02.02 Annual expenditure per student by higher education institutions in 2011 (in $PPP)

KR
 
ES
GB
BE
AU
DE
FI
SE
CA 1
 
 
IT
OECD
FR
IE
JP
NL
NO
DK
 
US
 
 

1 2010.

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02.03 Trend in annual expenditure per student between 2005 and 2011 (base index 100 in 2005)

US
 
AU
BE
DE
DK
FR
GB
FI
 
KR
 
NO
NL
ES
OECD
SE
IT
JP
IE
 
 
 

Canada: data not available.

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02.04 Relative share of public and private funding allocated to higher education institutions, final funding 1 in 2011 (%)

NO
 
DK
SE
FR
ES
OECD
CA 2
US
GB
 
 
FI
BE
DE
IE
NL
IT
AU
JP
 
KR
  
Public funding
Private funding
 
 

1 Final funding: funding after transfers between the different economic agents are taken into account. Public subsidies for households are included in household expenditure and subtracted from the expenditure of public bodies.
2 2010.

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Related statistical publication

 Note d'information DEPP 15.06 - La dépense pour le parcours d'un élève ou d'un étudiant en France et dans l'OCDE en 2011 - Marguerite Rudolf - February 2015
En 2011, le coût théorique du parcours d’un élève entre le début de sa scolarité obligatoire et la fin de ses études secondaires en France est dans la moyenne de l’OCDE. Ce coût théorique est inégalement réparti entre le primaire et le secondaire. Il dépend, d’une part, du coût annuel par élève dans chaque cycle et, d’autre part, de la durée théorique de scolarité dans le primaire et le secondaire. En France, le coût annuel d’un élève du primaire est inférieur à la moyenne de l’OCDE, alors qu’il est supérieur pour un élève du secondaire. La scolarité primaire y est plus courte que dans la plupart des pays (5 ans au lieu de 6) tandis que la scolarité secondaire est plus longue (7 ans au lieu de 6). La France dépense donc moins que la moyenne de l’OCDE pour le parcours d’un élève dans le primaire, et plus pour un élève pendant la durée des études secondaires.

Dans l’enseignement supérieur, la durée moyenne d’études en France est très légèrement supérieure à la moyenne de l’OCDE, et la dépense pour un parcours moyen y est un peu plus importante.

Au niveau national, l’État participe à hauteur de 63 % à la dépense moyenne, quand les administrations territoriales en fi nancent près de 26 %. Pour la moyenne de l’OCDE, ce sont les administrations territoriales qui contribuent pour la plus grande partie à la dépense moyenne (49 %), l’État central n’en fi nançant que 35 %.

Other editions

Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 10th edition - June 2017
02 - expenditure on tertiary education in OECD countries - Marguerite Rudolf
In 2013, average expenditure per student in France was close to the average of OECD countries. It is levelling off after a sharp increase between 2005 and 2008. However, national expenditure on tertiary education is still slightly below the average (1.5% of GDP compared to 1.6%) [Consult the following page]
Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheHigher education & research in France, facts and figures 9th edition - November 2016
02 - expenditure on tertiary education in OECD countries - Marguerite Rudolf
In 2012, average expenditure per student in France was close to the average of OECD countries. Since 2005, it has increased more quickly than in the marority of countries, thus catching up considerably on its shortfall. However, national expenditure on tertiary education is still slightly below the average (1.4% of GDP compared to 1.5%) [Consult the following page]

Translation

 Etat de l'enseignement supérieur et de la rechercheL'état de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche en France n°8 - juin 2015
02 - la dépense pour l’enseignement supérieur dans les pays de l’OCDE - Marguerite Rudolf
En 2011, la dépense moyenne par étudiant en France se situe au-dessus de la moyenne des pays de l’OCDE. Depuis 2005, elle a progressé plus vite que dans la plupart des autres pays. Cependant, l’effort national consacré à l’enseignement supérieur reste encore légèrement en dessous de la moyenne (1,5 % du PIB contre 1,6 %) [Consult the following page in french]


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