October 19, 2016

BBC: Finnish higher education standard among world’s best

Finland's success in the quality of its graduates could owe as much to its school system as its universities.
Finland's success in the quality of its graduates could owe as much to its school system as its universities.
Istockphoto.com/g-stockstudio

OECD test results reveal that Finnish graduates display a more consistently high standard of learning, despite institutions not topping the charts in other conventional rankings.

A BBC report has drawn a comparison between the results of an OECD study measuring highest performing graduates and the esteemed QS World University Rankings.

Finland came second in the OECD list measuring literacy skills, just behind Japan.

The British broadcaster looked at why countries that perform well when measuring such skill retention don’t show up in the QS World University Rankings, which are dominated by US and UK universities.

The director of the QS World University Rankings, Ben Sowter, points to the fact as the university rankings focus on an elite group of particular universities. This merely highlights the differences between individual institutions, but cannot be used to evaluate the performance of a higher education system as a whole.

According to Sowter, the success of a country such as Finland in the quality of its graduates could owe as much to its school system as its universities. He also thinks it is likely to be “harder to run a bad university in Finland than in the US”.

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