The United States is losing ground in the share of adults age 25 to 34 holding college degrees. America has fallen from 12th to 16th in the ranking and now trails South Korea, Canada and Japan, The Washington Post reports
A report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development attributed the decline to the rapid expansion of college attendance in Asia and Europe and the U.S. focus on a four-year degree. Other nations are more focused on colleges that grant one- and two-year degrees, the Post reported.
President Barack Obama pledged two years ago to retake the lead by 2020, but instead the country has slipped. The United States now trails Russia, Ireland, Norway, New Zealand, Australia, Denmark, Israel, Belgium, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, South Korea, Canada and Japan, the Post reported.
“We don’t have any evidence that anything is getting worse in the United States,” Andreas Schleicher, head of the Indicators and Analysis Division of the OECD in Paris, told the Post. “It is just that there is a great deal of dynamism all over the world, and many countries are catching up.”
The United States last led the world in college attainment of young adults in the 1970s, according to the Post. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said, “I think our country just got complacent. We got self-satisfied. I use these stats everywhere we go, and people are mostly stunned.”
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