How Canada became an education superpowe

coughlan, Sean | BBC News, BBC, August 2, 2017

When there are debates about the world’s top performing education systems, the names that usually get mentioned are the Asian powerhouses such as Singapore and South Korea or the Nordic know-alls, such as Finland or Norway.

But with much less recognition, Canada has climbed into the top tier of international rankings.

In the most recent round of international Pisa tests, Canada was one of a handful of countries to appear in the top 10 for maths, science and reading.

The tests, run by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), are a major study of educational performance and show Canada’s teenagers as among the best educated in the world.

They are far ahead of geographical neighbours such as the US and European countries with strong cultural ties like the UK and France.

At university level, Canada has the world’s highest proportion of working-age adults who have been through higher education – 55% compared with an average in OECD countries of 35%.

Migrant students

Canada’s success in school tests is also very unusual compared with other international trends.

The top performers are often cohesive, compact societies and the current highest achiever, Singapore, has been seen as a model of systematic progress, with each part of the education system integrated into an overarching national strategy.

 

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