Germany leads the way in MINT subjects.
Encouraging marks for the German education system. In no other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country do as many people chose a degree or a job in MINT (maths, IT, science and technology) subjects. Germany's advanced training and technical and vocational education and training systems also score well, according to the OECD study Education at a Glance 2019.
"The German education system has nothing to be ashamed of," declared Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek at an event to present the OECD's latest education study in Berlin.
ermany leads the world in the MINT subjects. In no other OECD country do as many students chose to take a degree in a MINT subject.
In 2017, 40 per cent of students beginning a bachelor or comparable degree in Germany chose MINT subjects, putting it top of the international ranking list. In second place came Austria, Greece and South Korea, all on 34 per cent. The OECD average is 27 per cent.
MINT employment prospects good
The employment prospects of holders of MINT qualifications are also above average in Germany: about 92 per cent of adults with an IT qualification in Germany are in work. For graduates of engineering and science subjects the employment rate is 91 per cent and 87 per cent respectively.
The federal government does a great deal to kindle more enthusiasm for MINT subjects. It has adopted an action plan to get more young people, especially women, interested in MINT subjects. A sum of 55 million euros is earmarked for this between now and 2022. There is also a MINT Pact: Over 300 partners are involved in drawing the attention of young women to the excellent career and earning opportunities in MINT professions. And every year the Chancellor invites school girls to the Federal Chancellery on 'Girls' Day' to whet their appetites for science and technology.
Good marks for vocational education and training
Technical and vocational education and training in Germany also scores well. Young people with vocational qualifications in Germany have better prospects than in almost any other OECD country.
The employment rate for young adults (25 to 34-year olds) with medium-level qualifications has risen by 6 percentage points over the last ten years from 78 per cent in 2008 to 84 per cent in 2018. This is above the OECD average of 78 per cent and only marginally lower than the employment rate for young adults with higher qualifications (88 per cent). The unemployment rate for this age group is only 3.4 per cent in Germany, compared to an OCED average of 7.3 per cent.
Great readiness to embrace professional development
In terms of professional development and upgrading too, Germany is above the OECD average. In Germany, 52 per cent of all adults (in the 25 to 62 age bracket) take part in some form of further or advanced training, as compared to an OECD average of 47 per cent.
"The will and the necessity to embrace life-long learning is more important today than ever before. I am happy to report that the OECD figures indicate an above-average participation in professional development and upgrading," said Anja Karliczek.
The high participation rates across all age groups is remarkable when compared with other countries. Even the 55 to 64 age bracket in Germany is well above the OECD average (of 33 per cent), with 44 per cent attending professional development measures.
More funding for education
Essentially it is the individual federal states that are responsible for education in Germany. Federal government does, however, support the states. Over the last ten years, the federal government has more than doubled its education spending to about 11 billion euros in 2018.
"So far we have mastered the challenges facing us and the scene is set for the future," said Federal Education Minister Anja Karliczek. The digital compact for schools is now in the implementation phase, the national advanced training strategy has been adopted, and technical and vocational education and training is being modernised and made more financially attractive.
"Designing a high-quality, future-proof education system is a task for the whole of society that can only be achieved if all stakeholders accept their responsibility," said Anja Karliczek. The federal government will be sticking to its priorities for the education sector.
Every year the OECD investigates the education systems and education spending in its 36 member states and ten additional countries. This year's OECD Education at a Glance study focuses on tertiary education and technical and vocational education and training.