Every three years, 15-year-olds across the world sit the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a test of science, maths and reading skills.
The results of the sixth PISA were released on December 6 by European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics and the deputy secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Douglas Frantz.
“We must continue to support Member States in overcoming disadvantages related to social or immigrant background. High quality early childhood education and care play an important role here, just like good teacher education and training. I strongly believe that determined action today will contribute to reducing social exclusion tomorrow and to building a socially cohesive European society,” said Navracsics.
As in previous surveys, the PISA 2015 final report offers key insights into the performance of school systems at the EU level and in a broader global context.
According to the findings of the sixth report, Singapore swept the board in the PISA global rankings for maths, science and reading skills. Schoolchildren in Singapore finished at the top in all three subjects.
Other East Asian countries also scored highly across most domains, as they have done since PISA was launched 15 year ago. For instance, students in Japan and South Korea, as well as Hong Kong and Macao (both autonomous territories of China), and Taipei (the capital of Taiwan) demonstrated above-average skills in science and math.
As for the EU, the member state with the best ranking is Estonia (3rd in science, 6th in reading and 9th in science). Finland gained ground finishing 4th in reading, and remained stable in science (5th), but slipped one place to 13th in the math ranking. Ireland climbed from 9th to 5th in reading, while non-alia, Canada, received a good ranking (3rd in reading and 7th in science).