At a glance

Funding trends*

Official development assistance (ODA) for education stood at an all-time high of US$14.6 billion in 2019, a 3%-increase over US$13.8 billion in 2018. In 2019, the share of total development assistance going to education was at 7.4%, slightly above its 2018 level (7.2%).

Included in this total ODA to education is some funding that remains in donor countries to pay for scholarships and other ‘imputed student costs' associated with students from low- and middle-income countries studying in OECD countries.In 2019, both of these together amounted to US$3.9 million, a 10%-increase from US$3.6 million in 2018. To get a more accurate picture of a donor’s cross-border flows of education, these costs must be subtracted from the totals above.

Top donors**

In 2019, top donors were Germany (US$3.1 billion), France (US$1.6 billion), the US (US$1.5 billion), the United Kingdom (US$1.3 billion), and Japan (US$952 million).  

These numbers include scholarships and other costs of students from ODA-recipient countries studying in donor-countries, which are high in Germany (US$1.5 billion in 2019) and France (US$874 million in 2019). When excluding these costs, Germany still remains the largest donor, followed by the US, the UK, Japan, and France.

The picture changes when looking at the share of donors’ total funding going towards education: In relative terms, the top DAC donors are Hungary (36%), Poland (22%), Slovenia (20%), Portugal (18%), and Austria (17%) – including in-country education costs.


* We are in the process of relaunching the Donor Tracker website. Please check back in early December for the latest data. In the meantime, please refer to our Donor Profiles for the latest sector data. 

**Note to avoid double-counting, the EU Institutions are not included as a donor in the ranking of total education ODA.