These days, people can be extremely mobile. We can work and study in any country – provided that we have enough money to cover the expenses for education abroad. And of course, if there is an opportunity to choose, we would like to choose a country with the best education system possible. So, what are the best education systems in the modern world?
The world is a dynamic place, with every country changing their politics and regularly. That is why the rankings of the systems of education in different countries change every year. Some countries organize groundbreaking reforms; others rely too much on the past fame and do not improve anything. Some countries just do not have the funds to make changes, while others intentionally rely on the traditionally high quality of their approaches, like the United Kingdom.
But what exactly is taken into account when the system gets evaluated as a whole?
There are several key characteristics. For, example, the World Top 20 project chooses the best education systems based on:
- the age when children enroll in school;
- the number of kids who complete all the stages: primary, secondary, and high school;
- the number of students who enter colleges;
- the number of students who successfully graduate from their college of choice;
- school safety.
Another organization, the Center on International Education Benchmarking (CIEB), adds two other criteria. They take into account the number of students per year who come from the less well-off families and are able to complete their studies, as well as those who fail.
But most ranking systems agree on one significant fact: at present, Asian countries lead in this area. Here are the top 10 education systems of 2018:
- South Korea;
- Hong Kong;
- United Kingdom;
- The Netherlands;
The first 4 countries in the top 5: South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore are so-called Asian tigers. Those countries develop very rapidly economically. If you are familiar with Korean and Japanese entertainment, you may know that both countries have systems that strongly rely on tests. They also put heavy emphasis on the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), especially mathematics. At present, Japan even develops new approaches which could decrease the pressure on students, as they are very driven to perform well at tests and succeed. Singapore and Hong Kong are known for heavily investing in innovation and education; Singapore, for instance, has created its education system basically from scratch.
As for European and North American countries – each of them created their own school version. For example, Finland is all about innovation, when the UK and Ireland believe in tradition. The Canadian system is quite unique, combining decentralization with the Ministry of Education guidance. The Netherlands try to provide quality education at all levels: professional, academic and vocational. Poland, the last country in the top ten, has at present a quality education at all levels at a lower price. It has managed to create a system that won over Germany, Austria, and Russia.
Each potential student would, of course, consider other things besides rankings: study language, atmosphere, living expenses and availability of housing. The world is now open, so each person can choose something to suit their abilities and character the most.
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