The 'Education at a Glance 2014' report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has revealed that although Denmark continues to spend more on education than other countries, national unemployment rates are up across all education levels.
Denmark is the OECD country that spent the largest share of its wealth on education. With 7.9 percent of its GDP in 2011 spent on public and private institutions at all levels of education, Denmark was the top investor in education. Iceland (7.7 percent) and South Korea (7.6 percent) closely followed. Denmark also topped all OECD countries in education spending in 2010.
The report, released on Tuesday, also found that Danish teachers earn higher salaries than the OECD average despite spending less time teaching.
Teachers’ starting salaries are between $42,200-$45,500, which is up to 50 percent higher than the OECD average. Meanwhile, Danish teachers spend considerably less time in front of their pupils.
“Teachers in Denmark spend less time teaching than those in most OECD countries. In 2012, the number of teaching hours per year for Danish teachers in public institutions was markedly lower than the average across OECD countries especially at the upper secondary level of education,” the report read.
When compared to the OECD average, Danish teachers spend 123 fewer hours teaching at the primary education level, 35 fewer hours in lower secondary education and 286 fewer hours in upper secondary education.
Denmark also saw unemployment rates increase significantly between 2008-2012 for adults across all education levels.
In those four years, Denmark went from fifth to 22nd in unemployment rate for adults with a below upper secondary education level, from third to 19th for those with an upper secondary education level, and from sixth to 14th for those with a tertiary education.
Despite the across-the-board increases, the unemployment rates were still lower than the OECD average.
Unemployment rates for young academics in Denmark outpace those of its Nordic neighbours.
“Among the younger generation, the unemployment rate of 24-35 year-old Danish tertiary graduates reached 7.7 percent in 2012, which was higher than that of their Swedish (5.4 percent), Finnish (4.5 percent) and Norwegian (2.6 percent) counterparts,” the report read.