EconomyFinancialMexico invests in education almost four times less than...

Mexico invests in education almost four times less than OECD countries

Mexico spends 3.6 times less per student in primary education and 3.9 less in secondary education, than the average of the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

According to the agency’s “Panorama of Education 2022” report, the country allocated 2,977 dollars per student at the primary level (around 58,000 pesos), when the average is 10,722 (about 215,000 pesos). While per high school student he invested 2,890 dollars (around 60,000 pesos), when the average investment is 11,400 dollars (229,000 pesos).

The report presented indicates that although financing for educational institutions grew 18% between 2008 and 2019, in that same period the increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was greater with 23%, so in reality spending was reduced by 0.2 %.

Although public spending on basic to higher education accounted for 13.9% of the total government budget—higher than the OECD average (10.6%)—relative to GDP, the public sector budget is below average .

In the case of expenditure per higher education student, it is higher in Mexico than in other levels of education, as is the case in almost all other countries of the Organization, but it is still one of the lowest among the members. The report indicates that the average expenditure per student in Mexico is 7,341 dollars (about 148,000 pesos) per year, which is around 4,400 dollars higher than that of primary school and 4,500 dollars above the upper middle school.

In contrast, the average expenditure in the OECD for the higher level is 17,559 dollars (353,700 pesos), which is driven by the resources allocated to research and development, which reaches 33% in the countries of the organization, when in Mexico it is 15%.

Insufficient progress by 2023

Next year will be no exception. According to the publication, published in Nexos and signed by Carlos Iván Moreno and Diego Cedillo Morales, the Federation Expenditure Budget Project (PPEF) for education next year amounts to 970,991 million pesos, 4.6% more than approved in 2022, but as a proportion of GDP it continues to deteriorate.

“In the specific case of higher and postgraduate education, the PPEF 2023 establishes a budget of 162,744 million pesos, 0.4% higher in real terms than what was approved in 2022. Even so, higher education spending loses weight as a proportion of spending total education: in 2022 it represented 17.5% of spending on the item, in 2023 it will be just 16.8%, ”says the article.

The lowest rate of university students

Mexico also stands out among the OECD countries for having the lowest rate of higher education, since only 27% of people between 25 and 34 years old reach this level. According to the report, in 2020, there was a difference of 18 percentage points between entities, because while in Mexico City the percentage was 30%, in Chiapas it registered 12%.

This despite the fact that the OECD itself states that “a higher educational achievement is often associated with better employment prospects and Mexico is no exception”. The document explains that in 2000, the employment rate among people aged 25 to 34 with higher education was 14 percentage points higher than among those with less than basic education and nine percentage points higher than among those with medium level. higher.

The median employment rate among 25-34 year olds with a college degree was 26 percentage points higher among those with basic education and eight percentage points higher among those with only upper secondary education.

According to the OECD, workers aged 25 to 64 with upper secondary education earn 29% more than workers with a lower level, while those with higher education earn about twice as much.

“In Mexico, the earnings advantage of workers with higher education was even higher than the OECD average: in 2018, workers with the upper middle level earned 34% more than those with less than the upper middle level, while those with higher education earned more than double,” he says.

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