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Higher Education Opens to More People Worldwide



For VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report.

More people are able to receive higher education worldwide than in the past. but the amount of higher education is causing social and economic divisions in many countries. A recent study by the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation, or OECD, also finds that some developing countries are making progress. Five years ago, the world financial crisis hurt many nations. But it did not slow growth in education.

The OECD report notes the quality and amount of education is increasing the division between what it calls the "haves" and the "have-nots". In some areas, rising unemployment has affected people with lower education levels more than others. They earn considerably less than those with higher degrees. There are 34 economically developed countries in the OECD. Among those countries, the unemployment rate for people with a university education is about 5 percent. However, the rate is almost 20 percent for 25 to 34-year olds who do not have a university degree. This situation also exists in developing economies.

Andreas Schleicher is the Education and Skills Director for the OECD. He says education makes more of a difference in the life chances of people than in the past. The report finds that education makes a greater difference for individuals within countries. But it also notes that education is reducing divisions between developed and developing countries. Mr. Schleicher says countries like China, Vietnam and Brazil are making education an important goal. He says they are investing their limited resources to get good teachers and school leaders.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Carolyn Presutti.

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