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More people completing PhDs around the world – OECD report

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The graduates

Countries are investing in their higher education systems, and more people than ever before are completing Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or doctoral degrees.

According to an OECD report made available to the Ghana News Agency, the US had at least twice as many PhD graduates as Germany, its nearest rival.

In 2014, 67,449 people graduated with a PhD in the US, compared with 28,147 in Germany.

Next in line is the United Kingdom, which just pips India into third place with 25,020 PhD graduates. India had 24,300.

Japan the fifth on the list only has a quarter of the PhD graduates that the US has, with 16,039.

In sixth and seventh place, France and South Korea have 13,729 and 12,931 respectively. Spain and Italy, in eighth and ninth, have a similar number, 10,889 and 10,678 respectively.

Australia is in 10th place with 8,400.

The brightest spot for the African continent is South Africa, placing 23rd on the score chart with 2,060 PhDs.

Information on Ghana and other member States are however unavailable.

It’s worth bearing in mind that the numbers per head of the population was different from the top of table.

OECD figures also showed that the number of doctoral graduates had increased worldwide in the last two decades, especially with a majority of them coming from OECD countries.

According to the report, large emerging economies had expanded their higher education training capacities, as shown by India’s high position with 24,300 doctoral graduates.

It observed certain scientific fields are more popular among PhD scholars.

About 40 per cent of new doctorates awarded in the OECD area are in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and this percentage increased to 58 per cent of all new graduates of doctorates in health are included.

Doctoral programmes are particularly oriented towards natural sciences and engineering in France 59 per cent, Canada 55 per cent and China 55 per cent, according to the report.

It said among other trends noted in the report were the increasing digitalization and internationalization of research, ushering in an era of a global knowledge economy with new discoveries such as MP3 (MPEG

Audio Layer 3) and GPS (Global Positioning System) technology would never have happened, but for PhD research.

It said tertiary education is thus at the core of innovation.

Source: GNA

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