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Study your way out of the recession

National economies and individuals continue to benefit from higher qualifications, says OECD

University education still pays dividends in later life, through higher salaries, better health and less risk of unemployment. This is according to a new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) writes the BBC World News website.

The annual OECD report Education at a Glance also shows that investments in University education on a national level will help countries out of the global recession.

»As we emerge from the global economic crisis, demand for university education will be higher than ever. To the extent that institutions are able to respond, investments in human capital will contribute to recovery,« says OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría.

Wealthier and healthier

Despite costly student loans, tuition fees, and three or more years of lost income for students, there is reliable evidence that higher education is still cost effective, according to the OECD.

»For a young person today, the best way of investing their money remains in education,« says report author Andreas Schleicher.

Graduates are likely be wealthier and healthier – and of greater value to their economies than those without a university background, says the report.

The divide widens

As the ever-increasing number of graduates snap up higher paid jobs, those without qualifications are being left further behind, with dwindling job opportunities.

Since the mid-1990s, the proportion of young people going to university in OECD countries has almost doubled.

Those without qualifications »are paying a higher price than in the past, as the relative competition for jobs is growing,« says Andreas Schleicher.

Across industrialised countries, more than four out of 10 adults with low qualifications are unemployed, with most of these counted as long-term unemployed.