Gross enrolment ratio for tertiary education, by sex

Definition

SDG Indicator 4.3.2: Total enrolment in tertiary education regardless of age expressed as a percentage of the population in the 5-year age group immediately following upper secondary education.

Data source

Administrative data from schools and universities or household survey data on enrolment; population censuses and surveys for population estimates by single year of age (if using administrative data on enrolment); administrative data from ministries of education on the structure of upper secondary education.

Source definition

UNESCO Institute for Statistics

Calculation method

Number of students enrolled in tertiary education, expressed as percentage of the 5-year age group immediately following upper secondary education. Note: The population of the official age for tertiary education is estimated to be the 5-year age group immediately following upper secondary education. If the official entrance age to upper secondary is 15 years and the duration is 3 years, then a is the age group 18-22 years.

Data required

Enrolment in tertiary education; population estimates by single year of age (if using administrative data) and data on the structure (entrance age and duration) of upper secondary education.

Interpretation

A high value of the indicator shows a high degree of participation in tertiary education by students of all ages.

Limitations

The gross enrolment ratio is a broad measure of participation in tertiary education and does not take account of differences in duration of programmes between countries or between different levels of education and fields of study. It is standardised to some extent by measuring it relative to a 5-year age group for all countries but may underestimate participation especially in countries with poorly developed tertiary education systems or those where provision is limited to first tertiary programmes (which are generally shorter than 5 years in duration).

Purpose

To show the general level of participation in a given level of education. It indicates the capacity of the education system to enrol students of a particular age group.

Quality standards

The indicator at each level of education should be based on total enrolment in all types of education institutions, including public and private.

Types of disaggregation

By sex from administrative sources; and by sex, location and income from household surveys and others as available.