Percentage of private enrolment

Definition

Total number of students in the given level of education enrolled in institutions that are not operated by a public authority but controlled and managed, whether for profit or not, by a private body (e.g., non-governmental organisation, religious body, special interest group, foundation or business enterprise), expressed as a percentage of total number of students enrolled in the given level of education.

Data source

Schools census or surveys.

Calculation method

Divide the number of students enrolled in private educational institutions in a given level of education by total enrolment (public and private) at the same level of education, and multiply the result by 100.

Data required

By level of education and by type of institution (public/private).

Interpretation

A high percentage indicates strong involvement of the non-governmental sector (including religious bodies, other organizations, associations, communities, private enterprises or persons) in providing organized educational programmes.

Limitations

In countries where private institutions are substantially subsidized or aided by the government, the distinction between private and public educational institutions may be less clear-cut especially when certain students are directly financed through government scholarships. The fact that some religious or private schools are not registered with the government nor follow the common national curriculum may also result in them not being included in official statistics, hence preventing a realistic assessment of the share of enrolment in private education.

Purpose

To measure the relative weight of private education in terms of enrolment, hence the scale and capacity of private education within a country.

Quality standards

This indicator should be based on complete and reliable data on enrolment in each of the different types of educational institutions, applying consistent definitions and criteria to distinguish between public and private educational institutions. 'Private' refers to all educational institutions not operated by a public authority, regardless of whether they receive financial support from such authorities.

Types of disaggregation

By gender, geographical location (region, urban/rural) and by level of education.