May 9, 2014

Finland’s education system the best in Europe

Finland’s teacher selection process ensures that not only are Finnish teachers highly academically able, but also deeply motivated and committed.
Finland’s teacher selection process ensures that not only are Finnish teachers highly academically able, but also deeply motivated and committed.
Riitta Supperi / Keksi / Team Finland

According to education and publishing firm Pearson, Finland has still the best education in Europe, although the Asian countries are holding the top four places in worldwide ranking.

Top 10 education systems

  1. South Korea
  2. Japan
  3. Singapore
  4. Hong Kong
  5. Finland
  6. United Kingdom
  7. Canada
  8. Netherlands
  9. Ireland
  10. Poland

The report was conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and is part of a wide-ranging programme of quantitative and qualitative analysis, entitled The Learning Curve. The research seeks to distill some of the major lessons on the links between education and skill development, retention and use.

Pearson’s case study The cream of the crop examines how Finland trains its teachers. According to the case study, Finland’s teacher selection process helps to ensure that not only are all Finnish teachers by definition highly academically able, but they are also deeply motivated and committed.

Finnish teacher education has had no trouble attracting applicants,” states Armi Mikkola, counsellor of education at the Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture. “This means that Finnish universities can choose excellent students. The situation is the same for kindergarten teaching, special needs education, guidance counsellor education —  they’re all very popular. Student recruitment is also easy in most subject teacher education programmes. Only maths and science have a shortage of applicants.”

The report was based on analysis of internationally comparable education data, including the OECD’s PISA test, OECD’s survey of adult skills PIAAC and two major US-based studies, Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).

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