Revealed: Global best and worst at 21st-century skills

New report reveals which countries top the global rankings for teaching 'future skills' such as communication, creativity and critical thinking

global education

A new report reveals the latest global education rankings for school systems around the world that best develop young people’s “future skills” such as creativity, entrepreneurship, communication and collaboration.

As in 2018, Finland has retained its peak position in the global rankings of 50 developed and developing countries – the Worldwide Educating for the Future Index, (WEFFI).


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Sweden, meanwhile, has improved its position, moving from fourth place last year to second in 2019, while New Zealand has remained in third place overall.

Some of the larger, developed countries saw a fall in their ranking overall. The United Kingdom fell from tenth to 15th place, while the US fell to 22nd place from 18th last year. France fell from ninth place to 14th, while Russia fell from 26th to 33rd place.

However, some countries significantly improved their performance, with Peru rising ten places from 34th to 24th place, and Indonesia rising from 43rd place to 28th.

China and India also improved their position since last year, although China’s performance is notably lower than its successes in the global 2018 Pisa rankings – the Programme for International Student Assessment – where it came top.

“The third edition of the index shows that while more economies have incorporated the future skills agenda into their education policies over the past two years, policy implementation still remains weak in many nations,” Georgia McCafferty, editor of the report, said.

“The index assesses whether school systems equip pupils with “future-oriented skills”, such as critical thinking, communication, entrepreneurship and creativity, assessing young people aged between 15 and 24 in 50 countries.

The study was carried out by the Economist Group and commissioned by the Yidan Prize Foundation, which was founded by tech billionaire Charles Chen Yidan.


Country

Rank

Rank (2018)

Finland

1

(1)

Sweden

2

(4)

New Zealand

3

(3)

Singapore

4

(7)

Netherlands

5

(6)

Canada

6

(5)

Switzerland

7

(2)

Australia

8

(11)

Germany

9

(7 – joint with Singapore)

Japan

10

(12)

Norway

11

(14)

Hong Kong SAR

12

(15)

South Korea

13

(16)

France

14

(9)

UK

15

(10)

Spain

16

(23)

Italy

17

(22)

UAE

18

(29)

Poland

19

(27)

Mexico

20

(19)

Chile

21

(13)

US

22

(18)

Philippines

23

(28)

Peru

24

(34)

Colombia

25

(20)

Ghana

26

(25)

South Africa

27

(33)

Indonesia

28

(43)

Israel

29

(23)

Kazakhstan

30

(32)

Vietnam

31

(37)

Turkey

32

(38)

Russia

33

(26)

China

34

(39)

India

35

(40)

Uzbekistan

36

N/A

Brazil

37

(31)

Thailand

38

(36)

Tanzania

39

N/A

Argentina

40

(35)

Ethiopia

41

(44)

Iran

42

(49)

Myanmar

43

N/A

Egypt

44

(46)

Pakistan

45

(50)

Saudi Arabia

46

(42)

Bangladesh

47

(45)

Kenya

48

(41)

Nigeria

49

(47)

DRC

50

N/A

 

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