Singapore has come top of the class in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) latest global education survey, with the Asian city-state's students the highest performing in tests on basic academic skills.
Japan came in second in the OECD's survey, followed by Estonia, Taiwan and Finland. Bar Japan and Canada, which came seventh, G7 nations fell lower in the data. For example, the United Kingdom ranked 15th whereas the United States came 25th. Seven Asian nations are included in the report's top ten.
The OECD's Programme for International Students Assessment surveyed roughly 540,000 15 year-old students in 72 countries, focusing on science, reading, mathematics and collaborative problem-solving.
In an accompanying statement, the OECD underlined its emphasis this year on skills in science, relevant due to "the context of massive information flows and rapid change" in the modern world.
Roughly one in ten students – which falls higher at one in four in Singapore – worked at the highest level in science. Meanwhile, of the countries surveyed, more than one in five fell below the baseline proficiency. "Only in Canada, Estonia, Finland, Hong Kong (China), Japan, Macao (China), Singapore and Vietnam do at least nine out of ten 15-year-old students master the basics that every student should know before leaving school," the OECD said in a statement.
The Far East was a top performer in mathematics. "More than one in four students in Beijing-Shanghai-Jiangsu-Guangdong (China), Hong Kong (China), Singapore and Chinese Taipei are top-performing students in mathematics, a higher share than anywhere else," the report said.