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Number of UK graduates rising, but many lack basic literacy skills says new report

9 Sep 2014

A new report from the OECD shows that the UK has seen an increase in the number of people with university qualifications, but that this is not matched by increased literacy skills.

41% of working-age people have a degree, which is an increase from 26% in 2000, and this has been attributed to more women taking up university places. However, the report shows that high literacy levels are more likely to be found in Finland, Sweden and Japan.

Andreas Schleicher of the OECD commented that there is "a lot of variability in the skills’’ of UK graduates, and some are not better off than school leavers in terms of basic reading and writing skills. A quarter of UK graduates achieved the top level of literacy in tests, compared with over a third in Sweden, the Netherlands, Japan and Finland. However, UK graduates were ahead of their counterparts in France and the United States.

The report also strongly endorses the value of opening up greater access to higher education, which benefits the individual and the economy. 

To read the full report from the OECD, click here

Tags: Adult literacy, Adults

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