Half of Spaniards drop out of high school

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Spain ranks third in high school dropout among 30 industrialised nations, reports new OECD study.

10 September 2008

MADRID -- Half of all Spaniards between the ages of 25 and 64 have not completed secondary education and is the third-highest proportion of high school dropouts among 30 industrialised nations after Portugal and Mexico, a new study shows.

The statistic was published by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Tuesday, in a report highlighting the disparities in education between Spain and other industrialised countries.

Though fewer Spanish adults have completed secondary education than people in most of the other countries studied, Spaniards who do receive their diploma are more likely to use it to go on to university. On average, high school graduates in other countries make up 69 percent of the population.

Four out of 10 Spaniards aged 25 to 34 have a degree compared to an average of 33 percent in the OECD and 30 percent in the EU.

However, obtaining a degree in Spain is no guarantee of a well-paying job, as the study finds that the difference in wages between university and high school graduates is among the smallest in the OECD.

"Spain has made a lot of progress in recent years, but we have to be self-critical," Eva Almunia, the secretary of state for education, said.

[El Pais / Angeles Espinosa / Expatica]

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