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Social Science & Humanities stable at 20%

VU International News and Reviews No. 99 October 9 2017

October 2017

The OECD has published its 2017 “Education at a Glance” book. It has a wealth of statistical material – on all aspects of education and its impact on society and the economy.

In view of the upcoming Aurora, Open Forum Debate on “What will the Humanities and Social Sciences do for us?”, we zoom in on data relevant to that subject.

According to the OECD Education at a Glance publication, on average 20% of tertiary-educated 25-64 old in both the OECD countries and the EU have a degree in the Humanities or Social Sciences (excluding Business and Law).

In “Aurora countries”, these statistics are considerably higher for Belgium (34%) and somewhat higher for Denmark and Iceland (23%), and lower for Germany (13%!) and Sweden (17%).

NB No data are given for the UK!

When we compare the data for the 25-64 cohort with the data for the 2015 graduates – and take that as an indicator for increasing/decreasing interest in subject areas, we see the following:

The overall averages for OECD and EU are fairly stable, but the changes in some of the “Aurora countries’ stand out.

Particularly in Belgium and Germany, and to a lesser extent in the Netherlands and Sweden, we see more fluctuations than at the OECD/EU average; France and Norway are the most stable.

Across the board, interest in SSH degrees is stable or upward for all ‘Aurora-countries’ except for Belgium: Up for Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden and stable for France, and Norway.

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