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About EPDC Administrative Data

Administrative Data

EPDC administrative data sources include the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), as the main international custodian of education data, and national data custodians such as ministries of education, national statistics agencies, and other official sources (see our Data Sources page for examples).  Administrative data generally include information gathered from a census of schools in a given country, with categories of data such as pupil and repeater enrollments, numbers of teachers and derived pupil-teacher ratios, pupil progression rates (promotion, dropout), education expenditure information, and participation rates derived from the combination of enrollment and population data (gross and net intake, enrollment, completion, transition rates), as well as information on the structure of the education system (duration of primary, lower secondary, upper secondary cycle). 

Data provided by UIS comes from a survey of national ministries of education, and therefore, may be expected to align with EPDC administrative data collected from national sources.  However, often this is not the case, and users may find discrepancies between values for the same indicator and year across UIS and a national administrative source.  In some cases, this may be due to the differences in the duration of education cycles. UIS indicators such as primary gross and net enrollment rates, for example, are based on a definition of primary education established by the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED), with the most recent ISCED mappings set in 1997.  National definitions of the duration of education cycles may differ from the ISCED ones, and consequently, indicator values reported by a national source in such cases would not be the same as those reported by UIS.  Users are encouraged to pay attention to the age ranges listed for standardized indicators in the EPDC database, and read the notes associated with the data collected from national sources.   The UIS webpage on ISCED provides more information on individual country mappings by level. 

What We Collect

EPDC collects administrative for the following indicators for, where applicable, pre-primary, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary (or secondary levels combined) education levels; number of pupils, number of teachers, number of classrooms, number of schools, gross intake rate, net intake rate, gross enrollment rate, net enrollment rate, dropout rate, promotion rate, repetition rate, completion rate, age specific enrollment rate, out of school children rate, official entry age, duration of cycle, expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP, and expenditure on school level as a percentage of expenditure on education.  Depending on the type of indicator and source, the indicators may be disaggregated by gender, urban/rural, or to the subnational level. 



UNESCO Institute for Statistics Data

In addition to collecting indicator data provided by UIS, EPDC calculates additional indicators using basic UIS data and in some cases, population information from the UN Population Division.  Examples of indicators calculated by EPDC are grade-specific repetition and dropout rates, which are based on grade-specific pupil and repeater enrollment information from UIS.  In general, UIS data are not disaggregated below the national level, and gender and level of education (e.g. primary, lower secondary, etc) are the only subgroups available. 

EPDC generally follows the UIS schedule for data updates.  Users should note that with each UIS data update, the entire collection is replaced, and therefore previously published values may be replaced by new data, or removed (in cases when UIS has concerns about data reliability). 

National Administrative Data

EPDC gathers publicly available administrative data from official documentation of the ministries of education, national statistical agencies, and any other national sources that present education data. The data from these searches have the benefit of being aligned to national definitions of the structure of the education system (in some cases different than the definitions established by ISCED), and sometimes provide additional subnational information not available from UIS.  As is the case with UIS data, indicator values are sometimes revised retroactively from year to year, and alternative values are published by national sources. It should be noted that EPDC collects the more current estimates.  While generally all published official education data are gathered, the choice may be made to omit certain data when EPDC has concerns about the quality of the data.

In the process of national administrative data collection, EPDC aims to collect data for public and private schools together whenever the option is available.  In some cases, data for private schools may not be available from national government sources accessed by EPDC, and therefore the information would be collected for public schools only.  Where data has been explicitly labeled as public only or public and private, EPDC includes this information in country-specific data notes. This is also true for different types of schools, such as technical and vocational or madrassa schools. EPDC collects data for these different types of schools together whenever possible and includes any explicit labeling in the notes. It is important to note that information on the types of schools is not always available.

As mentioned above, EPDC collects national administrative data by school level and uses national definitions of the education system. Where the grades associated with a particular level are explicitly defined, EPDC adds this information to the notes.  For relevant indicators, EPDC notes the relevant ages for the school age population used in calculations in the Ages column in the database, whenever the ages information is available. When the information on the age range for a given country information is not available in the national data source accessed by EPDC, the column is left blank.   EPDC country landing pages are good sources of information on the structure of the education system, the respective age ranges, and any discrepancies of the country definitions with the international ISCED system.  The country landing pages should be explored prior to interpreting national administrative data.