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These countries are home to the world’s best education systems – the UK ranks 11th

Top 10 Best Countries For Education 

The UK just misses out on a spot in the top 10 ranking in 11th place with a score of 7.80, just 0.01 behind Finland.

The UK has a 99% primary school enrolment rate and a 97% secondary school enrolment rate. The UK also sees education facilities receive 5.2% of Government expenditure. 

Taking all of the factors into account, Singapore ranks as the best nation for education, with an overall score of 9.10 out of 10. Singapore has a near-perfect record when it comes to school enrolment and the number of children out of school. Singapore is also the country with the highest level of people educated to tertiary (university) level, at 29.7%.

Ranking in second place is Iceland, scoring highly both for enrolment (99% at primary level and 91% for secondary) and government spending on education, which stands at 7.6% of the country’s GDP. Education in Iceland is compulsory for those between 6 and 16, with home schooling not allowed, and most institutions being free to attend.

Taking third place for education is Canada, with an impressive record of nearly 100% enrolment in both primary and secondary school, meaning there are almost 0% of children out of education at both levels too. 

RankCountryGovernment Expenditure on Education (% of GDP)Population age 15+ with Tertiary Schooling (%)Average QS World University Rankings ScoreMean PISA Reading ScoreMean PISA Maths ScoreMean PISA Science Score Education Score /10

The study also revealed the top 5 countries with the worst education systems: 

RankCountryEducation Score /10
3Dominican Republic4.04

 Jordan ranks as the country with the ‘worst’ education system, scoring only 2.86 out of 10. The country sees 20% of primary school children and 28% of secondary school adolescents out of school. Jordan’s primary and secondary school enrolment rates are also significantly lower than the top 10 best countries.

Further Study Insights: 

  • Six different countries had a primary enrollment rate of practically 100%: Canada, Singapore, Norway, Malta, Iceland, and Malaysia.
  • Canada, Singapore and Kazakhstan also have a near-perfect enrolment rate at secondary school. 
  • 23 of the countries studied can say that just under 100% of their children are in education at primary level, including New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland.
  • The nation’s government that spends the most on education is Denmark, spending 7.8% of its GDP.
  • The country with the highest percentage of people educated to tertiary level is Singapore. 

James Andrews, Senior Editor,

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