10 October 2013
The well-known US education firm Pearson carried out a global research as to the best countries for education in the world. Surprisingly, US didn’t top the rating and scored average (17th place), while some other countries like Finland and South Korea appeared on top of the list of 40 developed countries with the best education systems. They were followed by Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore.
The list of 20 top countries is the following:
Finland, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, UK, Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, Ireland, Denmark, Australia, Poland, Germany, Belgium, USA, Hungary, Slovakia, Russia.
It is remarkable that Russia is also in top 20 as this is a huge achievement proving Russia one of the best study destinations in the world.
The rankings were calculated based on various measures, including international test scores, graduation rates between 2006 and 2010, and the prevalence of higher education seekers. During the research the following factors at the counties were considered: literacy data, figures in government spending on education, school entrance age, teacher salaries and degree of school choice, national unemployment rates, GDP, life expectancy and prison population.
According to Pearson`s chief education adviser, Sir Michael Barber, the high ranking countries tend to offer teachers higher status in society and have a "culture" of education.
In the Asian countries education is highly valued and parents believe in the importance of education and its "underlying moral purpose." Thus, that while funding is an important factor in strong education systems, cultures supportive of learning is even more critical. Although Finland and South Korea differ greatly in methods of teaching and learning, they are similar because of shared social belief in the importance of education.
The main objective of the research is to help policymakers and school leaders identify key factors that lead to successful educational outcomes.
According to the report it is highly important for educational system to have high-quality teachers and lecturers, but at the same time there is no clear connection between higher salary and teacher’s better performance. Education, as it appears, requires long-term, coherent and focused system-wide attention to achieve improvement. Naturally good teachers are at the core of high-quality education. At the same time it is essential to use positive elements of the country’s culture and to keep parents informed and communicate with them. Moreover, successful education systems need to think about the skills that present day students will require in their future and teach them accordingly.
Overall it is very impressing to see Russia in top 20 countries recognized as the best for higher education in the world. This fact should be considered by prospective students worldwide while making their decision to study abroad.