Singapore tops international education rankings

Anyone looking to emigrate to a country that will give their children the best education possible, should consider moving to Singapore.

Singapore outperforms the rest of the world in the latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey, which evaluates the quality, equity and efficiency of school systems.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation Development’s (OECD) PISA 2015 tested around 540,000 15-year-old students in 72 countries on science, reading, maths and collaborative problem-solving. The main focus was on science, an increasingly important part of today’s economy and society.

Around 1 in 10 students across OECD countries, and 1 in 4 in Singapore, perform at the highest level in science. Across the OECD, more than one in five students falls short of baseline proficiency: only in Canada, Estonia, Finland, Hong Kong (China), Japan, Macao (China), Singapore and Vietnam do at least nine out of ten 15-year-old students master the basics that every student should know before leaving school.

This underlines the challenge that all countries, including some of the wealthiest ones, face in meeting Sustainable Development Goal 4 by 2030 to achieve “inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.

Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Hong Kong (China) and Macao (China) achieve both high standards of excellence overall and equity in education outcomes.  A number of countries have improved equity, especially the United States. But in Australia, Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Hungary, New Zealand and the Slovak Republic, the share of students performing at the highest levels fell at the same time as the share of low performers rose.

Asian education systems dominate the upper reaches of these results tables – accounting for the top seven places for maths, with Singapore followed by Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Japan, China and South Korea. Finland, Estonia, Canada and Ireland are the only non-Asian nations to get into any of the top five rankings across all three subjects.

The UK’s education system, however, ranked fairly poorly, placing 27th in maths, 22nd in reading and 15th in science. Within the UK, Wales had the lowest results at every subject.

Article published 9th December 2016