Asia tops for education standards

Anyone looking to give their children the best education possible when they emigrate, may wish to consider moving to Asia.



According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) latest PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) Asian countries outperform the rest of the world when it comes to education standards.

The annual survey, which tests more than 510,000 students in 65 countries and economies on maths, reading and science abilities – with this year’s main focus on maths – found that Shanghai-China, and Singapore were top in maths, with students in Shanghai scoring the equivalent of nearly three years of schooling above most OECD countries.

Hong Kong-China, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Macao-China, Japan, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and the Netherlands were also in the group of top-performing countries overall.

Of those 64 countries with trend data in maths up to 2012, 25 improved, 25 showed no change and 14 did worse. Brazil, Germany, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Tunisia and Turkey have shown a consistent improvement over this period.

Italy, Poland and Portugal also increased their share of top performers overall and reduced their share of low performers. Germany, Mexico and Turkey also managed to improve the performance of their weakest students, many of whom came from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. This shows that countries can simultaneously improve equity and raise performance.

“With high levels of youth unemployment, rising inequality and a pressing need to boost growth in many countries, it’s more urgent than ever that young people learn the skills they need to succeed,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “In a global economy, competitiveness and future job prospects will depend on what people can do with what they know. Young people are the future, so every country must do everything it can to improve its education system and the prospects of future generations.”

Of the traditionally popular long-haul emigration destinations for British immigrants, Canada’s education system was ranked in 13th place, Australia’s in 19th, New Zealand’s in 22nd and the United States’ in 36th. The UK was ranked 26th.

Article published 4th December 2013