• Concessional loans: These are loans that are extended on softer terms than market loans, either through interest rates below those available on the market or by grace periods, or a combination of these. Concessional loans typically have long grace periods.
  • Ghost teachers: Educators who are on the payroll but do not teach. For instance, they may fail to attend work or may no longer live in the area, but still receive paychecks.
  • Global Public Good: Public goods are goods that can be consumed without affecting the utility for others. No one can be prevented from enjoying the good. Global public goods are public goods with benefits and/or costs that potentially extend to all countries — such as improved knowledge and research on education.
  • Gross domestic product (GDP): The value of all final goods and services produced in a country in one year.
  • Gross enrollment ratio (GER): Total enrollment in a specific level of education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the population in the official age group corresponding to this level of education. The GER can exceed 100 percent because of early or late entry and/or grade repetition.
  • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD): The original organization of the world bank. IBRD is now the non-concessional lending arm of the World Bank, providing loans, guarantees, risk management products, and advisory services to middle-income and creditworthy lower-income client countries.
  • International Development Association (IDA): IDA, the concessional lending arm of the World Bank, generally provides loans with zero or low interest and grants to the poorest developing countries. Repayments are stretched over 25 to 40 years, including a 5- to 10- year grace period. Eligibility for IDA support depends primarily on a country’s relative poverty, defined as Gross National Income per capita below an established threshold and updated annually ($1,215 in fiscal year 2016). Some countries are above the poverty threshold but are IDA eligible because they lack creditworthiness to borrow from IBRD. Other ”blend” countries are IDA-eligible but are also creditworthy for some IBRD borrowing.
  • Massive Online Open Course (MOOC): Course of study made available over the Internet for large numbers of participants, typically without charge and accessible by anyone.
  • Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): Eight goals endorsed by governments at the United Nations in September 2000 for achievement by 2015. These include reducing poverty, hunger, child, and maternal mortality, ensuring education for all, controlling and managing diseases, tackling gender disparity, ensuring sustainable development, and pursuing global partnerships.
  • Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs): institutions that provide financial support and professional advice for economic and social development activities in developing countries. The term MDBs has typically referred to the World Bank Group and four regional development banks: the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Inter-American Development Bank Group. However, a number of new development banks have been emerging, expanding the group. MDBs are characterized by a broad membership, including both borrowing developing countries and development donor countries, and not limited to member countries from the region of a regional development bank. Each bank has its own independent legal and operational status, but with a similar mandate and a considerable number of joint owners.
  • Net enrollment ratio (NER): Enrollment of the official age group for a given level of education, expressed as a percentage of the population in that age group.
  • Non-concessional loans: These are loans, typically used in relation to MDBs, with a market-based interest rate and substantially less generous terms than concessional loans. In OECD-DAC Creditor Reporting System database, they are classified as Other Official Flows (OOF).
  • Official Development Assistance (ODA): Grants and concessional loans which flow to countries on the DAC list of ODA Recipients and to multilateral institutions with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as their main objective. The definition of ODA is currently being revised.
  • Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): an intergovernmental economic organization comprising 35 largely high-income countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): A set of 17 goals endorsed by governments at the United Nations in September 2015 for achievement by 2030. These cover a broad range of sustainable development issues, including ending poverty and hunger, improving education and health, making cities more sustainable, combating climate change, and protecting oceans and forests. The fourth SDG is focused on education.
  • The Development Assistance Committee (DAC): A forum of the OECD comprised of OECD bilateral donors which aims to promote aid effectiveness and increased aid for sustainable development.
  • The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA): A triennial international survey by the OECD which aims to evaluate education systems by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students in mathematics, science, and reading. To date, students from more than 70 OECD member and non-member economies have participated.
  • Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS): A series of international assessments by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), which test the math and science knowledge of fourth- and eighth-grade students in a diverse set of education systems around the world.

Country Income Group Classification

  • Low income countries (LICs): Economies with a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of $1,045 or less in 2014, calculated using the World Bank Atlas method.
  • Middle income countries (MICs): Economies with a GNI per capita of more than $1,045 but less than $12,736 in 2014, calculated using the World Bank Atlas method.
  • Lower middle income countries (LMICs): Economies with a GNI per capita between $1,045 and $4,125 in 2014, calculated using the World Bank Atlas method.
  • Upper middle income countries (UMICs): Economies with a GNI per capita between $4,125 and $12,736 in 2014, calculated using the World Bank Atlas method.
  • High-income countries (HICs): Economies with a GNI per capita of $12,736 or more in 2014, calculated using the World Bank Atlas method.
  • Fragile and conflict-affected states: For statistical purposes, the Commission has used the 2016 World Bank list of fragile situations. This defines a fragile situation as one with a) an average Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) rating of 3.2 or less, or b) presence of a UN or regional peacekeeping or peacebuilding mission during the past three years. The list includes only IDA eligible countries and non-member or inactive territories/countries without CPIA data. IBRD countries that are included in the list qualify only by the presence of a peacekeeping, political, or peacebuilding mission due to nondisclosure of CPIA ratings.

Education Levels

  • Pre-primary: Programs may be referred to in many ways; for example, early childhood education and development (ECE/ECD), play school, reception, pre-primary, preschool, or educación inicial.
  • Early Childhood Development (ECD): Refers to the physical, cognitive, linguistic, and socio-emotional development of a child from prenatal stage up to age eight. This development involves a wide range of activities from child care to nutrition to early education.
  • Early Childhood Education (ECE): The education portion of the broader term ECD.
  • Primary: Provides learning and educational activities typically designed to provide students with fundamental skills in reading, writing, and mathematics and establish a solid foundation for learning and understanding.
  • Secondary: Program often made up of two stages: lower and upper secondary. Lower secondary education is generally designed to continue the basic program of the primary level, but teaching is typically more subject-focused, requiring more specialized teachers for each subject area. The end of this level often coincides with the end of compulsory education. In upper secondary education, instruction is often organized even more along subject lines and teachers typically need a higher or more subject-specific qualification.
  • Post-secondary: Includes tertiary, higher education, vocational, technical, and employability training. Higher education programs build on secondary education, providing more complex learning activities in specialized fields of education. Tertiary education includes what is commonly understood as academic education, but also includes advanced vocational, technical, and employability training.
  • Technical and vocational education and training (TVET): Programs designed mainly to prepare students for direct entry into a particular occupation or trade (or class of occupations or trades). Vocational education may have work-based components (e.g., apprenticeships, dual-system education programs). TVET can include programs for students of secondary or post-secondary age.

ADB– Asian Development Bank

AfDB– African Development Bank

DAC– Development Assistance Committee (OECD)

DFID– Department for International Development (United Kingdom)

ECD– Early childhood development

EFA– Education for All (UNESCO)

GAVI– Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization

GEMR– Global Education Monitoring Report (UNESCO)

GDP– Gross domestic product

GER– Gross enrollment rate

GPE– Global Partnership for Education

GPGs– Global public goods

HICs– High income countries

IBRD– International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank)

IADB– Inter-American Development Bank

IDA– International Development Association (World Bank)

IMF– International Monetary Fund

LICs– Low income countries

LMICs– Lower middle income countries

MDB– Multilateral development bank

MDGs– Millennium Development Goals (UN)

MICs– Middle income countries

MOOC– Massive online open course

NER– Net enrollment rate

NGO– Non-governmental organization

ODA– Official development assistance

OECD– Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

PISA– Program for International Student Assessment (OECD)

R&D– Research and development

SABER– Systems Approach for Better Education Results (World Bank)

SDGs– Sustainable Development Goals (UN)

TALIS– Teaching and Learning International Survey (OECD)

TIMSS– Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study

UIS– UNESCO Institute for Statistics

UMICs– Upper middle income countries

UN– United Nations

UNCHR– United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

UNESCO– United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization

UNICEF– United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund

WHO– World Health Organization (United Nations)