Israeli women better educated than men – but earn less
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Israeli women better educated than men – but earn less

OECD report shows Israel spends more on education overall, but large student population means it spends less per pupil

President Reuven Rivlin visits an elementary school in Kiryat Bialik, near Haifa, on the first day of the academic year on September 1, 2016. (Photo by Mark Neyman/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin visits an elementary school in Kiryat Bialik, near Haifa, on the first day of the academic year on September 1, 2016. (Photo by Mark Neyman/GPO)

Israel’s education system spends less per student than most other Western countries, and educated Israeli women earn far less than similarly educated men, an OECD report released Thursday revealed.

The 2016 Education at a Glance report found that women study more than men, but earn less. And although the amount spent is a higher proportion of the national budget than in many other countries, the spend per student is strikingly low.

Women are almost twice as likely as men to earn a degree. In 2014, 60 percent of students completing a bachelor’s degree and 61% completing a master’s degree were women. However, at the doctoral level men and women achieved parity. These numbers are slightly higher than the OECD average of 58% of those completing a bachelor’s degree being women, 57% earning a master’s and 47% receiving a doctoral degree.

However female graduates are less likely than males to find a job. Only 84% of tertiary educated women have a job, as opposed to 90% of similarly educated men.

Once they have found their job, women will probably earn significantly less than their male counterparts. Women with tertiary education can expect to earn only two-thirds of what their male counterparts earn. This is even worse than the OECD average of 73%.

Israel has seen a real increase in the share of its budget set aside for education. 5.9% of the GDP went towards education, which was 11.5% of total public spending. The OECD average was only 5.3% of GDP, and a total of 11.1%. However, in real terms Israel only spends $7,840 on each student, significantly less than the OECD average of $10,493.

Israel is working to catch up, the report showed. From 2008 to 2013, Israel increased spending per primary and secondary student by 17%, far greater than the OECD average of 8%. Overall education spending increased by 30% during that period while the number of students jumped by only 11%.

In higher education, Israel increased spending by 15%, far above the OECD average of 5%.

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