The educational systems of OECD economies continue to grow and with this the total amount of resources dedicated to the total learning effort is reaching unprecedented levels. Are the resources organised and used in a way that fulfills what society intends educational systems to achieve? Do the educational systems provide the right forms and types of learning opportunities? Are the learning opportunities offered at the right time and distributed over the lifespan in the best possible way? Answers are necessary for both public and private officials to effectively guide and manage education and training systems, including the design and implementation of effective and well informed educational policies. In 2005 the OECD’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI) in cooperation with the OECD INES Network B (responsible for devising indicators on the outcomes of education) launched a project entitled “Measuring the Social Outcomes of Learning” (SOL). The SOL project is designed to inform economic and social policy that relates to education and lifelong learning. It involves in depth investigations into the nature of the link between learning and well-being, and how such linkages, if warranted, could be used as policy levers to improve well-being through education, and to achieve greater equity in the distribution of well-being. Thirteen countries have so far taken active part in the SOL project.
The project seeks to:
• Develop a framework to investigate these various links.
• Improve the knowledge base for policy decisions on private and public benefits.
• Contribute to more integrated policies across education and other policy domains.
• Foster the gathering and application of evidence on SOL.
• Enable thinking about interactions between economic and social outcomes.