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Home > Education > WEI Programme Accueil

WEI Programme 

Education systems must be able to quickly and effectively respond to the challenges arising from the rapidly evolving nature of socio-economic trends. But the impact of education is also paramount for individuals and households. This is clearly seen in the rising demand for education and the pressures to improve its relevance and quality.


Governments can assess their progress towards meeting these challenges through the use of international comparisons. While it is important to recognize the conditions that help to shape reform, comparisons to similar countries provide a useful benchmark for policymakers. They also highlight where and how policies have successfully achieved desired results in other countries.


What is the role of the UIS?

The main aim of the World Education Indicators (WEI) programme is to establish a comparative perspective on key policy issues to better monitor education systems. In particular, most WEI countries are close to achieving universal primary education and are therefore increasingly focused on improving education quality and access to higher levels of education. Thus, the WEI programme aims to address new information needs as countries shift to more advanced stages of educational development.


The WEI programme serves as a laboratory of ideas. Countries do not just collect data-- they design and test innovative surveys and methodologies collectively in this model of South-South cooperation. The programme has sought to develop indicators and methodologies based on a common set of policy concerns where cross-national comparisons add value; review methods and data collection instruments; and set the direction for future developmental work and analysis.

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Core components of WEI: 

  • The WEI annual education data collection goes beyond the regular UIS education survey to produce more detailed information for the diverse group of participating countries* that comprise 70% of the world’s population.
  • Countries are also actively involved in the design and analysis of special data collections, such as the Survey of Primary Schools (SPS), which offers unique insight into the quality and equality of primary education in 11 countries.
  • International benchmarks are used to assess progress towards national education goals. WEI countries can compare their results with similar data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  This benchmarking was highlighted in the publications, entitled Education Counts, which were released in 2007 and 2006. The comparative framework is now incorporated in the annual UIS publication, the Global Education Digest.


Participating countries:

  • Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay.
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