UK 6th in school rankings

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by jnpy!$4g3cwk, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    Supposedly (I haven't read the original myself) the UK came in 6th out of the top 20 in a ranking of education around the world:

    Based on various articles, blog posts, PRSI comments, and so on, the other rankings were not particularly surprising, so, I would have thought the UK rankings would be lower. Maybe people in the UK like to complain more about education?

    In order:

    1. Finland
    2. South Korea
    3. Hong Kong
    4. Japan
    5. Singapore
    6. UK
    7. Netherlands
    8. New Zealand
    9. Switzerland
    10. Canada
    11. Ireland
    12. Denmark
    13. Australia
    14. Poland
    15. Germany
    16. Belgium
    17. USA
    18. Hungary
    19. Slovakia
    20. Russia

  2. MorphingDragon macrumors 603


    Mar 27, 2009
    The World Inbetween
    It's quite honestly depressing the NZ is #8, because the ***** footing cannot be matched for our national standards.
  3. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    No surprise for the USA, it feels as if the quality and effectiveness of our school system slips further every year. Wonder how low we'll have to sink to actually do something useful about it. :rolleyes:
  4. iStudentUK macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2009
    Brits do love to complain. I always laugh when an American politician talks about how proud they are to be in the "greatest country in the world" and similar bollocks. If a politician tried that here they would receive a crowd of raised eyebrows (raising eyebrows being a very bold statement here ;)) and people going "I'm frightfully sorry old chap but I'm not entirely sure one can objectively state that... have you seen how late our trains are? Sorry for being so up front. Anyone for tea?".

    The point is Brits seems very sceptical all the time. Truth is our education is quite good, but its easier to moan about it.

    Well I must be off, my crumpets are ready.
  5. Happybunny macrumors 68000

    Sep 9, 2010
    What I find strange about the British school system are the titles. I think that I got this right.

    Public School is anything but, you have to pay fees to enroll.

    Private School (also called an Independent school) is funded by private money but open to all pupils.
  6. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    Having done uni in both UK and US, this sounds about right. While people may complain about the education in the UK, they would only have to come to the USA to get some context. I am surprised that USA is as high as #17.:p
  7. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    Not really.

    Public Schools are independent too. And require fees.
    Private Schools (also called an Independent school) and sometimes called Public Schools also have fees.

    In essence, they're actually one and the same. Public School is the even posher version of the already posh Private School. ;)

    We have 4 types of school (for the rest of us), Community schools, Voluntary Controlled schools, Voluntary Aided schools and Foundation schools.

    We also have Academies, City Technical Colleges and specialist colleges under the 'Specialist School Programme', though I think many if not all of these latter two have now become (or are in the process of changing) to Academies. Which receive their funding directly from Central Government and are independent of Local Authority control, instead being monitored directly by the Department for Education. These are often either inner city schools or previously poorly or under performing ones. Though not always.

    In some respects it's this meddling by inept jobsworths that has created something of a mess in our education system over the last 10-15 years, that has wasted an astonishing amount of money, increased complexity and has also had the detrimental side-effect of increasing congestion, pollution and obesity.

    Frankly, I'm surprised the UK is quite so high, given the dumbing down of qualifications and grade inflation in recent years. Oh... so that's why we're so high up in the list... ;)
  8. jeremy h macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    I'm a bit surprised we're quite so high up but not surprised we've improved.

    There's been a huge effort made in education here in the past 15 years. Sure a lot of money and effort has been wasted but things have started to turn around. I think there's an issue with kids who would rather be at work having to carry on in education (which has lead to grade inflation, some mickey mouse degrees etc) but this is the major penalty of abandoning (or being forced to abandon) a large scale manufacturing economy and focussing on a service economy.

    I think the actual teaching quality and oversight of teaching is now far better than it ever has been.
  9. Happybunny macrumors 68000

    Sep 9, 2010
    Wow that really is a complicated system.:eek:

    As to falling standards

    I think this is a general trait all over the western world. In most countries of Europe older people always complain that standards are falling in the schools. When I went to school in the 1950's and 1960's only about 15% of pupils went on to any sort of university education.

    One thing that has changed here in the Netherlands, high education in nearly always given in the English language. This has meant that universities can recruit from a larger pool.
  10. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2010
    Please god let them get it....

    Were number 17 on you're list!! Me so proud of USA! I hope my fellow usaers are glad that their even in the 20 top. This will have an affect on us for generations. Etc etc
  11. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    Probably our universities keeping us afloat.

    There's infinitely more foreigners attempting to come to the United States for college/university than Americans going abroad to foreign universities.

    Flip side is that I feel it's half and half on highly educated Americans going to elite universities (Oxfords and whatnot) and the other half for other reasons (wanting to live/study abroad, no GRE needed, whatever).
  12. VulchR macrumors 68020


    Jun 8, 2009
    The BBC story stated that those on the top of the list view education as having a 'moral purpose'. It'd be nice to hear politicians in the UK talk about their moral duty to educate the next generation rather than focusing on a vapid curriculum and league tables. It seems to me that sometimes the UK politicians view education not as some amazing gift of one generation to another, but merely as a means for creating more taxes (educated proles pay more tax than uneducated proles), which increases their personal power.
  13. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
  14. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I knew we were smarter than Slovakia. Seems we could save a few bucks by cutting education spending.
  15. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Yep, you'll eventually all become worker bees anyway.

    The 1% kids will go to fine schools, become drones themselves, and maybe one day get it on with the Queen.

  16. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    A lot of foreigners come here because they can't get into schools within their own country. It is easier for them to get into our schools.

    I am surprised we are as high as #17.
  17. 63dot, Nov 28, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2012

    63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    While my point of view may be 30 years old from when I lived in London, I do remember some in our group who went to school in the city or to Oxford and Cambridge and they seemed to have what some would call a well rounded education, but what I saw more as a renaissance person.

    While an American like me was trained in school to generally be good in one subject, it wasn't to be an education where you could be good in two subjects unless you double majored. What I mean by good is probably 30 upper division level semester units within a major like accounting, engineering, botany, English, or computer science. At the bachelor's level, a certain basic competency is required for graduation but by no means a mastery of any subject as that would be akin to master's degree and PhD. So if you got a bachelor's degree in the USA in ornamental horticulture, then it was assumed you had a basic understanding of that subject but usually not a mastery. What I found with my Oxbridge friends is that they would go on to graduate with an equivalence of a mastery of a subject and strong basic knowledge of one or more non-related subjects.

    What would take six or seven years at the pace in an American college to achieve they could do in four years. The classes I sat in on at London University were so brutal in comparison to what an American was expected to learn on the undergraduate level that it seemed they were a whole head taller than us. What they learned by age 17 or 18, we might be expected to know by age 21 or 22 with a bachelor's degree. What England lacked in sheer numbers in terms of the population of a large country like the USA, they made up for in smarts.

    When they got their first university degree, usually they would be like our master's degree graduates. This explained why their medical doctors could get by with five years of education and be as good as our doctors with eight years of education.

    I think America started far behind England in the first place, as we were still pioneers in an outpost nation and if the English complained about their education dumbing down in recent decades, they have not dumbed down as much as the Americans. I seriously doubt a quarter to third of English high school grads think that global warming is fake or that the earth is less than 10,000 years old. There's a reason we got ole W in office for eight years, and he is a Harvard and Yale grad to boot. That says a lot! :p

    If some Americans see my points of view as unpatriotic, it's really not that at all. I think it's patriotic to be able to see the shortcomings of the USA with education being on top of the list of shame, and to rally to make it better. Both major American political parties are guilty here of neglect of our educational system. The last report card I saw for the USA on CNN was that we were not only far down on the list, but #28 when it came to math and science where many of the better manufacturing jobs are. Not only is it cheaper to outsource to many countries for high tech jobs, but they also have the know how which is slipping away from our populace as we churn out more college grads who believe the earth is only as old as "relevant" cultures populated by lighter skinned people thus seeing anything older than 3600 BC as barbaric, non-Western, and thus non-existent.
  18. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    i gut muh edukatin frum USA publik skoo i kan du maf i kan reed i kan du kawmpuhtr

    u jus hatin cuz u hat freedum
  19. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    The good thing is that if those clever foreigners continue becoming smarter than us and taking away all our American jobs, we can still nuke them!:D
  20. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    Depends on the school, I suppose. I knew people at City College or whatever in London and they said it was a joke, but then people at LSOE or the Oxford/Cambridge crowd usually had a different response.

    I mean the sheer numbers of toilet tier colleges and for profit dumps in the U.S. certainly bring down the university system as a whole, but if you exclude those, it's not so bad on the university level.
  21. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    I'm not surprised that Japan is up there, as they're known for their successful education system - But I was a bit surprised at South Korea being #2. They must be doing pretty damn well for themselves these days :)

    ...And of course the old US of A is down the bottom (not surprising) ;)
  22. leenak macrumors 68020

    Mar 10, 2011
    I've had experiences at a number of colleges in the US, all of them highly ranked and maybe my expectations are too high :)
  23. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

    Jan 30, 2004
    having a drink at Milliways
    from the article it is unclear what are the criteria used, but it seems that the pool is high-school students, not college students. and one of the criteria i home many people goes on to university/college, which i am not sure is a measure of how good an education system is (you can get higher score by getting more prepared kids or lower standards of admission)

    for the US, 17 is much, much higher than i thought.
  24. wrkactjob macrumors 65816


    Feb 29, 2008
    Dear Sir, I'd like to lodge a complaint....
  25. sim667 macrumors 65816

    Dec 7, 2010
    Im a 16-19 teacher, and to be completely honest, im surprised we're so high up.

    The level of literacy I have from a lot of 16 year olds straight out of school, is atrocious. Some of my colleagues literacy is also atrocious.

    Im surprised we've improved considering the hammering public services have had since the tories....... but I bet we drop down the league table, next time its reviewed..... the tories hammering probably hadnt kicked in for the time these result were for.

    I get confused by public/private etc..... I know I went to private school, and it was paid for. I know places like eton etc are 'public' schools, but are very expensive and full of toffs. Aren't public schools grammar schools that became fee paying or something?

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