17th September 2019

OECD Education at a Glance 2019: Czech Republic: Total expenditure on primary to tertiary educational institutions is relatively low

OECD published their 2019 Education at a Glance report, summarizing state of education in individual OECD countries, including the Czech Republic: 









  • While most tertiary-educated adults in the Czech Republic hold a master’s degree, their employment advantage over those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education is among the lowest across OECD countries.
  • Total expenditure on primary to tertiary educational institutions is relatively low in the Czech Republic. Similarly to other OECD countries, the large majority of funding is publicly sourced.
  • Teachers’ salaries in the Czech Republic are among the lowest across OECD countries and consistently below those of tertiary-educated adults at all levels of education.
  • Vocational upper secondary education is attractive in the Czech Republic: Almost 7 out of 10 uppe secondary graduates obtained a vocational qualification in 2017 compared to 4 out of 10 on average across OECD countries. 


On average across OECD countries, 40% of first-time upper secondary graduates earned a vocational qualification in 2017; in Austria, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, more than 66% of this population did, the report mentions. 

Certain fields of study are more prevalent among tertiary-educated adults. On average across OECD countries
with available data, 24% of tertiary-educated 25-64 year-olds have a degree in business, administration and law,
which is the most common field of study. The share ranges from 12% in the Czech Republic to over 30% in
Costa Rica, France, Luxembourg, Mexico and Turkey. In Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Poland and the United States, the most popular broad fields of study are arts and humanities, social sciences, journalism and information. In Austria, Germany, the Russian Federation and the Slovak Republic, the largest share of tertiary-educated adults hold a degree in engineering, manufacturing or construction, while the most widespread field of study in Denmark, Norway and Sweden is health and welfare, the report says.

In the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom, the average employment premium for tertiary-educated adults is 5 percentage points or less over those with upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education. The positive impact of upper secondary or post-secondary non-tertiary education on the unemployment rate is especially high in Australia, Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, the Slovak Republic and Sweden. In all these countries, the unemployment rate for younger adults with an upper secondary or post-secondary nontertiary education is one-third or less of the unemployment rate for those with below upper secondary education.

The average difference in employment rates in favour of the older age group (45-54 year-olds) is 6 percentage points across OECD countries. However, in the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, the employment rate for younger adults is more than 10 percentage points lower than the rate for older adults, the report says.

The report also notes that  In Norway and Switzerland, for example, around 40% of doctorate holders in the population are foreign citizens, while in Argentina, the Czech Republic, Finland, Latvia and Portugal, the share is 5% or less.

In about one-third of countries with available data, more upper secondary students are enrolled in vocational than
in general programmes, reaching at least 70% in the Czech Republic, Finland and Slovenia.

In almost all countries with available data, women make up at least half of upper secondary graduates from
general programmes, ranging from 49% in Korea to 61% in the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic, and
62% in Italy, the report says.

Incoming international students made up at least 15% of tertiary students in Australia, Austria, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, peaking at 47% for Luxembourg and 21% for Australia. The Czech Republic (13%) and the Slovak Republic (7%) have the largest shares of foreign students at tertiary level.  Among the countries for which data were only available for a shorter time period, the share of international students increased the most in the Czech Republic, Ireland and Luxembourg, by more than 2 percentage points over the period 2013-17. Demonstrating the importance of proximity, in Austria, the Czech Republic, Luxembourg, the Slovak Republic and Switzerland more than 50% of international or mobile students in 2017 came from neighbouring countries.

According to the report, the strongest declines in the share of women in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and statistics are observed in the Czech Republic, Denmark, India, Korea, Poland, Saudi Arabia and Slovenia where the share of women graduates falls by 15 percentage points or more between master’s and doctoral level. The share of women in engineering, manufacturing and construction declines by 10 or more percentage points in Colombia, the Czech Republic, Iceland, India, New Zealand and South Africa.

The salaries of lower secondary school teachers with 15 years of experience and most prevalent qualifications (a proxy for mid-career salaries of teachers) range from less than USD 25 000 in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania and the Slovak Republic to more than USD 60 000 in Australia, Canada, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and the United States, and they exceed USD 100 000 in Luxembourg.

While teachers with the most prevalent qualifications in both the Czech Republic and Israel will reach the top of their scale within approximately 32-36 years, maximum statutory salaries in the Czech Republic are only 32% higher than starting statutory salaries, compared to 105% higher in Israel. Among the 22 countries and economies with available data (for at least one level), actual salaries of teachers amount to 65% or less of earnings of similarly educated workers in the Czech Republic (primary and secondary) and the United States.

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Compare with the 2018 results for the Czech Republic:

  • Upward educational mobility in the Czech Republic is less prevalent than across OECD countries: children whose parents did not attain tertiary education are more likely not to obtain a tertiary degree and to graduate fromvocational programmes than in a majority of OECD countries.
  • The gender gap in both employment rates and earnings is wide in the Czech Republic. For instance, 25-64 yearold women earn 69% of what men earn on average, one of the lowest proportions among OECD countries.
  • The enrolment rate of 3-year-olds in early childhood education and care has increased during recent years and now exceeds the OECD average of 75%. However, spending per child is the lowest among OECD countries.
  • Expenditure in educational institutions has increased during recent years. However, spending per student from primary to tertiary level is among the lowest across OECD and can explain the low salary of Czech teachers.
  • Teachers and school heads have relatively low salaries compared to their OECD counterparts and other tertiaryeducated workers.

Source: OECD Education at a Glance 2018


Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic