DataTurkey: Education

OECD announced the 2012 results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) last week and it was widely covered both in local and international media.  PISA is an assessment measuring the 15-year old school pupils’ scholastic performance on mathematics, science and reading and it is increasingly used as an indicator of education quality.

Inspired by the PISA data released last week, we looked at Turkey’s quantity and quality education indicators in comparison to 1 developed and 13 emerging markets.  As always, the data are from international organizations.

      • According to UN’s Human Development Index, Turkey ranks 90th among 186 countries in its sub-index of inequality-adjusted education. In our 15-country universe, Turkey ranks 10th in both education index and expected of children schooling.
      • Yet, Turkey does worse in both public expenditure on education and ratio of female to male rates in secondary education: Turkey spends the least amount of money in education among 14 countries and there is huge gap with the rest of countries in terms of female to male ratio in secondary education.

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        • There are several categories within World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index that ranks countries in quality and quantity education indicators.  In primary education index, which is a combination of primary school enrolment rate and quality of primary education, Turkey ranks 62nd out of 148 countries.
        • In higher education and training, Turkey ranks 65th; but there is a gap between the ranking of quantity (60th) and quality indicators (90th) in secondary and tertiary education.  While quantity indicators are calculated based on enrolment rates, quality indicators are derived from executive opinion survey.
        • Likewise, Turkey does not do as well as quantity indicators when executives are asked about on-job training and quality of management schools.

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      • In Legatum Prosperity Index, Turkey ranks 89th out of 142 countries in sub-index education and it ranks 42nd out of 90 countries in KPMG’s change for readiness index- human capital.

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      • In OECD’s PISA scores, even though Turkey is one of 21 countries that improved its math scores since 2003, Turkey still ranks 43rd out of 65 countries in mean math scores.
      • In our usual list of 14+1 economies, Turkey ranks 5th in 12 countries with reported PISA scores.

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    • Despite bad results in quality indicators of education, Turkey has seven universities in top 100 universities of BRICS and Emerging Economies, the highest number after China and India (Korea is not included in this list).

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  • Turkey is a mediocre and sometimes-below average performer in the ranking of education indices.
  •  It does exceptionally bad in some of the sub-indices.  Unfortunately, gender gap is a significant issue not only in labor market but in education as well.
  • Even though Turkey is one of 21 countries that improved its PISA scores compared to 2003, its scores are below OECD average and it did not improve in the last three years.
  • Turkey does better in quantity indicators of education compared to quality indicators, pointing out once more to the need of well-structured policy choices in improving overall efficiency of the economy.

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