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Education

Educational attainment

Over three-quarters (76 percent) of New Zealanders aged 25–64 years have achieved secondary or tertiary educational qualifications.

This is at the upper end of the OECD scale, placing New Zealand twelfth among 30 nations, slightly behind Austria and ahead of Finland, and well above the OECD average of 65 percent.

There is considerable variation in the proportion of people holding qualifications, from 13 percent in Mexico to 88 percent in the Czech Republic.

 

Educational Attainment

(percentage of 25–64 year olds attaining at least upper secondary education), 2002 

  Percent 
 New Zealand  76 
 OECD  65

High rates of early childhood education

New Zealand also has higher rates of participation in early childhood education than most other OECD countries.

Ninety-three percent of New Zealand four year olds were involved in early childhood education in 2000, compared with an OECD average of just 73 percent. New Zealand ranked ninth in the proportion of four year olds in education.

 

Education

(proportion of 4 year olds in primary or pre-primary education), 2000 

   Percent
 New Zealand  93
 OECD  73

Literacy

New Zealand children rank relatively highly on international literacy scales.

The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment measures performance levels of students near the end of compulsory education in reading, mathematical and scientific literacy.

The data shows that New Zealand children rank seventh among OECD countries, with comparable data in terms of the average score across the three scales, behind Finland, Korea, Japan, Canada, the Netherlands and Australia. New Zealand rates above the OECD average on each of the scales – fifth in reading, ninth in mathematics and seventh in science.

 

 Student Literacy

(student performance on the combined reading, scientific and mathematical literacy scales), 2003

  Performance 
 New Zealand  522
 OECD average  498 
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