Top 10 Countries with Best Education Systems

We look at the youth of a country to lead the way towards progress and betterment of the nation, and the primary path towards this goal is putting in place a good system of education. For certain countries, the concept of education has been given tremendous thought, respect and of course, funds. Over the years, these countries have risen up the ranks and have consequently become an attraction for people from the world over essentially because of their system of education. Pick up your notepads and pens, as I invite you to take note of the top 10 countries with best education systems in the world.


10. The Netherlands

One of the most important tenets of a successful education system is freedom to students. The Netherlands has a great reputation when it comes to upholding the idea of liberalism, and their system of education bolsters this idea further. The way the Netherlands handles its system of education promotes liberty and plenty of room for alterations. The curriculum isn’t rigid, which allows students to feel free in choosing their lines of interest. Moreover, education in this country is essentially free, save a few mandatory costs applicable to certain schools. Students here study full-time till the age of sixteen, and thereafter are given the choice of continuing with a part-time course, or obtaining a degree.


9. Ireland

This small island nation is home to a unique system of education – education in Ireland is completely free, and by that I mean right till the end of college, and perhaps that’s the way it should be, for education is every child’s right, no matter what nationality or what background he has. Coming back to Ireland, the nation ranks 9th mainly because of the importance it gives to education, in terms of the 8.759 billion euros that are allocated annually for this department. Ireland hence boasts a near perfect literacy rate of 99%.

Cork, Ireland --- The Quadrangle at University College --- Image by © Rachel Royse/CORBIS

8. Germany

Germany has been steadily building towards creating one of the best systems of education in Europe. Firstly, going to kindergarten isn’t compulsory, and hence children can spend valuable time with their parents at this formative age. Secondary education is systematically divided into five systems of schooling, each one having various advantages, and students therefore have a freedom to choose which system they would like to follow. Over the last few years, German universities have attracted many international students, and have what it takes to become a powerhouse nation when it comes to education.


7. United Kingdom

How does one leave out Oxford and Cambridge when discussing education? Home to a couple of universities which feature in the top 10 best global universities, the UK proves a strong country when speaking of systems of education. Schooling is mandatory for children aged 5 through 16. Following primary and secondary education come higher studies, which can be said is the UK’s forte. With some of the oldest and most prestigious establishments of education in the world, the UK ranks 2nd in Europe, and 7th in the world.


6. Canada

Apart from providing free education in primary as well as secondary school, Canada’s system of education showcases thought and careful structuring. For children beginning at the age of 5, attending school is mandatory. As it is, Canadian students score above average in international student assessments. Interestingly, Quebec in particular, requires students to go through two years in a specialized professional university before they can move towards university life.


5. Singapore

Singapore’s strength lies in its system of primary education, which allows students to form a strong base on which they can found their secondary education, and subsequently their professional careers. Moreover, rote learning is not encouraged in Singapore – their system of education prefers that students learn how to solve problems by themselves, while a teacher’s role is to guide the student in such a case where he finds himself lost in the quest for answers. Emphasis is given to conceptual learning, rather than memorizing information and simply spilling it out onto an examination paper. Singapore’s focus on deeper education pushes it up to rank 5.


4. Finland

The former no.1 in the list of best educational systems has slipped to 4th position, but nevertheless is home to one of the best frameworks when it comes to education. Finland’s idea of education differs from the conventional mindset that deals with this aspect of human life. Students here have very short school hours, and during the rest of the day, they engage in school-sponsored activities, which means they have ample free time to pursue their personal interests. Regular examination pressures are also not in Finland’s agenda, as in certain schools, students have to give only one exam at the age of 16. Furthermore, teachers aren’t loaded with too many class hours as well, and most importantly, they get paid very well. With a holistic approach towards education, Finland is home to Europe’s best system of education.


3. Hong Kong

Inspired significantly by the UK model of education, Hong Kong has worked its way up the ladder to sit pretty at no.3. Hong Kong leads in the list of average IQ of students. Although the 94.6% literacy doesn’t fully explain the advances Hong Kong has made, the development in their services sector as well as their industries are credited to a leap in the education system.

Hong Kong

2. Japan

Japan is almost synonymous with technology, and technology is an instrumental component of their educational system as well. The extent to which Japan incorporates technology into their educational system is unmatched. Moreover, extra curricular activities are also given importance, with the likes of chess, badminton and other sports being regularly practiced by students. Overall, children in Japan have access to resources that many students in other countries wouldn’t imagine of having, hence creating a highly advanced system of education.


1. South Korea

A tiny country it is, but a giant nonetheless. The last few years has witnessed the rise of South Korea in the domain of education. Unlike some of the other countries featuring in this list, South Korea endorses tremendous hard work. In some schools, children must attend school 7 days a week. However, the outcome is thorough learning and knowledge in a wide range of subjects. South Korea’s second reason of domination is the allocation of a whopping $11 billion annually for the educational system. This makes South Korea the home of some of the best educational establishments in the world.

South Korea

A good education not only allows children to learn and grow positively, but also ensures that they receive the due respect in the academic realm. Their education also determines their social circle – a strong education entails rubbing shoulders with educated and dignified crowds. Clearly, education is the key to unlocking successes in life and  for starters, these nations have put in place a system that will ensure that students launch into their professional careers with a sound base, making them the top 10 countries with best education systems.

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Shubhankar Bhattacharya