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 (EESR9_ES_01) it does not include education expenditure by households outside the institutions (books, supplies, private lessons, clothes, etc.), even if these private expenses relating to educational goods and services and/or subsistence are subsidised by public assistance.

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 (CNRS) or the National Institute for Medicine and Medical Research (INSERM).

This indicator is presented in $PPP (US dollar equivalent), converted using purchasing power parity for GDP, a currency conversion rate that enables purchasing powers in the different to be expressed in a single currency unit..

Two major methodological developments occurred between 2011 and 2012:

-  In 2012, the Gross Domestic Product was expressed as the 2010 base according to the new European accounting system, and as a result the share of GDP (%) is not comparable to the figure published in previous years.

- In 2012, the United Kingdom revised the classification of expenditure on tertiary education, which had a significant impact on the share of public/private funding and the amount of education expenditure in that country.

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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 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%).

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 1.4% of GDP devoted to tertiary education in 2012, France is close to the average for OECD countries (1.5%). It is ahead of other European countries such as Spain (1.2%), Germany (1.2%) or Italy (0.9%) but lags behind by the Scandinavian countries (between 1.6% and 1.8%). There are three countries whose expenditure on tertiary education is very much higher than the average: the United States (2.8%), Canada (2.5% in 2011) and South Korea (2.3%).

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 2012, the United States (26,560 $PPP) and the United Kingdom (24,340 $PPP) pulled ahead sharply with their high level of expenditure, followed by Sweden and Canada, which spent more than $22,000 PPP per student. France spent $15,280 $PPP per student, slightly higher than the average OECD country ($15,030 PPP). This expenditure was higher than that of Italy or Spain, but lower than that of Germany and Japan.

Between 2005 and 2012, average expenditure per student increased more quickly in France than in the average OECD country (+14% compared to +11%) (chart 02.03). The increase was even higher in South Korea (+38%), Japan (+19%), Sweden (+19%) and Finland (+18%). Conversely, a drop in the level of annual expenditure per student could be seen between 2005 and 2011 in Spain (-1%) 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 69.7% to 30.3%, (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 79.8%, 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 - 50 indicators [online]. KABLA-LANGLOIS Isabelle (dir.). Paris: Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche, 2016. 9th ed. Chapter 02 [Accessed 05/23/2019]. ISBN 978-2-11-151572-7. https://publication.enseignementsup-recherche.gouv.fr/eesr/9EN/EESR9EN_ES_02-expenditure_on_tertiary_education_in_oecd_countries-ILL_01.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 (EESR9_ES_01) it does not include education expenditure by households outside the institutions (books, supplies, private lessons, clothes, etc.), even if these private expenses relating to educational goods and services and/or subsistence are subsidised by public assistance.

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 (CNRS) or the National Institute for Medicine and Medical Research (INSERM).

This indicator is presented in $PPP (US dollar equivalent), converted using purchasing power parity for GDP, a currency conversion rate that enables purchasing powers in the different to be expressed in a single currency unit..

Two major methodological developments occurred between 2011 and 2012:

-  In 2012, the Gross Domestic Product was expressed as the 2010 base according to the new European accounting system, and as a result the share of GDP (%) is not comparable to the figure published in previous years.

- In 2012, the United Kingdom revised the classification of expenditure on tertiary education, which had a significant impact on the share of public/private funding and the amount of education expenditure in that country.

 

Key figure


Domestic education expenditure devoted to higher education as a share of GDP
1.4%
 
2012
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 2012 (in % of GDP)

US
 
KR
GB
SE
NO
OECD
BE
ES
 
IT
 
CA 1 2
FI
NL
AU
JP
FR
IE
DE
 
 
 

Denmark, data not available.
1 2011.
2 Public institutions only.

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02.02 Annual expenditure by higher education institutions per student in 2012 (in $PPA)

US
 
SE
NO
FI
JP
BE
OECD
ES
 
KR
 
GB
CA 1 2
NL
DE
AU
FR
IE
IT
 
 
 

1 2011.
2 Public institutions only.

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02.03 Development in annual expenditure per student between 2005 and 2012 (Base indices 100 in 2005)

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

Canada, Denmark, United Kingdom, Germany: data not available.

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02.04 Relative share of public and private funding allocated to higher education institutions, as final funding 1 in 2012 (in %)

FI
 
BE
DE
FR
NL
IT
CA 2 3
US
 
KR
 
NO
SE
IE
ES
OECD
GB
AU
JP
 
  
Public funding
Private funding
 
 

1 Final funding: funding after taking into account transfers between different economic agents. Public grants to households are therefore accounted for in household expenditure and subtracted from that of public agents.
2 2011.
3 Public institutions only.
Denmark: data not available.

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Related statistical publications

 Note d'information DEPP 16.05 - La dépense pour le parcours d'un élève ou d'un étudiant en France et dans l'OCDE en 2012 - Marguerite Rudolf - February 2016
En 2012, 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. La France dépense 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. La dépense pour un parcours dans l’enseignement supérieur est un peu plus élevée en France que dans la moyenne de l’OCDE.

En France, comme en moyenne dans l’OCDE, le secteur public finance la plus grande partie de la dépense d’éducation mais la structure du financement public est différente : en France, l’État participe à hauteur de 70 % au financement public de l’enseignement primaire-secondaire tandis que pour la moyenne de l’OCDE, ce sont les administrations territoriales qui en sont le premier contributeur (62 %). Le financement public de l’enseignement supérieur est plus centralisé à la fois en France et pour la moyenne de l’OCDE, avec une participation respective de l’État central de 87 % et 84 %.
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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 8th edition - November 2015
02 - expenditure on tertiary education in OECD countries - Marguerite Rudolf
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%) [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°9 - Juin 2016
02 - la dépense pour l’enseignement supérieur dans les pays de l’OCDE - Marguerite Rudolf
En 2012, la dépense moyenne par étudiant en France est proche de la moyenne des pays de l’OCDE. Depuis 2005, elle a progressé plus vite que dans la plupart des autres pays, rattrapant ainsi une grande partie de son retard. Cependant, l’effort national consacré à l’enseignement supérieur reste légèrement en dessous de la moyenne (1,4 % du PIB contre 1,5 %) [Consult the following page in french]


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