Israel most educated emerging nation, according to OECD study (CEL, ALV, PTNR)

With high-tech companies such as Alvarion, LTD (ALV, quote), Cellcom Israel (CEL, quote) and Partner Communications Company (PTNR, quote), it should come as no surprise that Israel is second only to Canada among the most highly educated countries in the world.

The OECD’s “Education at a Glance 2011” report ranks Israel high for its percentage of the population having post-secondary degrees. With 45% of Israelis completing university degrees, Israel is now ahead of Japan (44%), the United States (41%), and the United Kingdom (37%).  Canada has a 50% mark in this regard.

As The Jerusalem Post points out, this statistic is “especially significant” given Israel’s low GDP per capita ($27,690, 12th lowest of the 34 OECD member states) and surging population. Israel’s population has increased 24% since 2000, from 6.29 million to 7.8 million in 2011.

The Post also noted that not everything was positive for Israel. The percentage of Israeli citizens obtaining post-secondary educations was “slowing dramatically,” and “Israel is one of only three countries where education expenditure as a proportion of GDP decreased.”

Knowledge is the driving force in 21st century economies, and Israel is in a good position to profit from it. The question is: can it keep up with its own growth?

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