The UK is now considered to have the second best education system in Europe according to education and publishing firm, Pearson. It is also sixth overall in the global education league table.
South Korea is first, amongst three other Asian countries with Finland making up the top five positions. The rankings include higher education and international school tests, the latter helping the UK’s position.
The findings reveal the success of Asian nations, with South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong making the top four positions globally. However, it is also a positive sign for the UK, which beat countries such as France, Germany and the United States.
It also reveals a strong link between economic growth and improving levels of education and training – and that through international comparisons, such as with top Asian countries, it demonstrates what can be achieved in other countries.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said of the findings: “The UK has a global reputation for excellence in higher education, attracting overseas students who make huge economic and cultural contribution to Britain.” To maintain this, he argued, “We must continue to attract international students and promote the UK as a knowledge economy.”
The rankings are decided through a series of tests, which include OECD’s (Operation for Economic co-Operation and Development) Pisa tests and two major US studies, Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).
Mary Bousted, leader of the ATL Teacher’s Union, welcomed the news: “We are confident that Michael Gove will respond positively to the good news and acknowledge the hard work of teachers and lecturers in this achievement.”