In just a few decades, countries of the world will be governed by today’s youth. Their thoughts and actions will be shaped by what they know and have experienced, making education, in many ways, one of the best predictors of a nation’s future success.
The 2019 Best Countries for Education are ranked based on a perception-based global survey, which used a compilation of scores from three equally weighted country attributes: well-developed public education system, would consider attending university there and provides top quality education.
A mix of federally run and decentralized education systems rank highest. These are the top five.
No. 5: France
Education in France is based on a national curriculum and compulsory from ages 6 through 16, though most students attend a form of preschool and manymove on to higher education. Philosophy plays a major role in the home of Voltaire, Descartes and other historic thought leaders. Each year, graduating high school students take the baccalauréat, an academic qualification required to seek university studies.
The concept of kindergarten, or preschool transition before mandatory education, was introduced in Germany. The term was coined by Friedrich Froebel in 1840. After completing primary education in four grades, German students are recommended to take one of three tracks of secondary school based on academic performance: gymnasium for those headed to college, “Realschule,” or secondary school, for white-collar careers and “Hauptschule,” or general school, is for trade professions. These students are some of the youngest in the world to be placed on designated academic paths. Scores on the Programme for International Student Assessment are above average and have been steadily improving, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
No. 3: Canada
Primary and secondary education in Canada are free and mandatory for children beginning at age 5 or 6. The constitution delegates schooling authority to each province, but the lack of a centralized education structure has not proven adverse. Canadian students score above average on the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment. Quebec requires students to complete two years at a specialized professional school before attending university, but otherwise, standards are generally comparable.
The public education system in the U.S. is funded largely through federal and state property taxes. Student progress through 13 grades, from kindergarten through high school, and about 70 percent of graduating students continue on to higher education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The U.S. is home to eight of the top 10 Best Global Universities.
No. 1: United Kingdom
School attendance in the United Kingdom is mandatory from age 5 through 16, as students progress through four key stages of a national curriculum. Disparities between secondary modern schools designed for trade professionals and grammar schools for study of the classics led to the creation of more uniform comprehensive schools, though administration of the programs has differed in each county. Students had average math, science and reading scores on the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment. The United Kingdom is home to two of the top 10 Best Global Universities.