Graduation rates for bachelor’s and master’s degrees have dramatically increased over the past two decades, with 6 million bachelor’s degrees and 3 million master’s degrees awarded in OECD countries in 2013. Although women represent over half of the graduates at the bachelor’s and master’s level, they are still strikingly under-represented in the fields of sciences and engineering. The proportion of international students rises with every level of tertiary education: while 7% of bachelor’s graduates were international students in 2013, the figure increases to 18% among those awarded a master’s degree.
Over the past two decades, tertiary education in OECD countries has dramatically expanded. In 2014, 16% of the adult population (25-64 year-olds) across OECD countries had a bachelor’s degree as their highest level of attainment and another 11% had a master’s degree. However, tertiary education has been constantly changing as well as expanding. Institutions now offer more choices of programmes and degrees, and host a more diverse student body.