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An education institution is classified as public if it is:

(1) controlled and managed directly by a public education authority or agency; or

(2) is controlled and managed either by a government agency directly or by a governing body (Council, Committee etc.), most of whose members are appointed by a public authority or elected by public franchise.

The extent to which an institution receives its funding from public or private sources does not determine the classification status of the institution. It is possible, for example, for a privately managed school to obtain all of its funding from public sources and for a publicly controlled institution to derive most of its funds from tuition fees paid by households. Likewise, the issue of whether or not a public or private body owns the buildings and site of a school is not crucial to the classification status.

The term “ownership” may refer to the ownership of school buildings and site, or alternatively ownership of the institution in the sense of ultimate management control. Only in the latter sense is ownership a relevant concept in classifying institutions.

Source Publication:
2001 Data Collection on Education Systems: Definitions, Explanations and Instructions, UNESCO, OECD, Eurostat, page 49.

Cross References:
Educational institution
Private education institution
Public education institution

Statistical Theme: Education and training statistics

Created on Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Last updated on Wednesday, March 12, 2003