The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) provides a platform for its 30 member countries for the evaluation and improvement of their policies in the area of economics, finances, education and science, social welfare, environment and development. Switzerland was among the twenty countries that signed the Convention on the OECD of 14 December 1960, which came into effect on 30 September 1961.
What does the OECD do?
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) provides a platform for its member countries for the evaluation and improvement of their policies in the area of economics, finances, education and science, social welfare, environment and development. OECD. In the area of globalisation, governments are able to share their experiences and work together to find common solutions to shared problems. Great emphasis is placed on improved coordination and coherence of national and international education policies.
How does the OECD work?
The OECD and its Secretariat prepare economic and social statistics, analyses and forecasts. Government officials from member countries attend committee meetings on a regular basis, which allows them to exchange experiences (peer reviews), find solutions to common problems, identify good practices, develop international standards and coordinate their policies at national and international level.
What benefits does the OECD offer Switzerland?
The OECD provides Switzerland with an international platform to represent its interests, allows it to contribute to development of international standards and offers a forum the systemic and interinstitutional learning (peer learning). Moreover, Switzerland has taken part in several country studies on skills formation: Learning für Jobs, Skills Beyond School und Systemic Innovation in VET.
For the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), the work of the Directorate for Education and Skills (EDU) and the Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry (STI) and the PISA Governing Board are particularly important. Switzerland is also represented in two bodies that are relevant to skills formation: the Group of National Experts on Vocational Education and Training (a specialised committee) and the Education Policy Committee (EDPC) (an overarching steering committee). In these committees, Switzerland actively seeks to achieve better understanding, visibility and proper presentation of the Swiss VPET system at international level. In addition, the Confederation and the cantons jointly take part in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which assesses the academic performance of young people in reading, mathematics and science every three years and draws international comparisons.
The various OECD activities in education include the following:
- Development of indicators
- System comparisons
- Country studies
- Studies on current education issues.
Fazekas, M. and S. Field (2013), A Skills beyond School Review of Switzerland, OECD Reviews of Vocational Education and Training, OECD Publishing