Education in the strict sense is a formal process of learning which takes place in a recognized and approved institution of learning. Education can be formal or informal. When one enrolls in a recognized and approved institution of learning for the purpose of acquiring knowledge and skill, this is said to be formal education.
Under formal education, there is always a structured curriculum which must be completed by the student, and certificate of honors be obtained thereafter. Informal education could be skills, knowledge and experience acquired by any other means other than the formal process. Under informal education, there is no prescribed curriculum to be completed.
Informal education may be acquired through conversation, observation, learning from families and friends, etc. informal education is not planned. There is no specific period of time for informal education as opposed to formal education where there is a prescribed minimum period of time. Formal education usually require financial commitment known as tuition fees, and other fees which are incidental to fostering of the learning process.
Education adds to the value of developing and improving the cognitive process of humans, equipping humans with the necessary skills and experience for livelihood and making the world a better and easier place through management, invention, human to human relations and other factors which facilitate smoother existence.
Formal education is structured in such a way that every level of it is a mere stepping stone unto the other. Therefore it is correct to say that education is continuous and progressive. Education system entails methodology, policies, conditions and opportunities practiced by a given geographical area which defines the interest and contribution to academic relevance and performance of students as it affects the entire economy.
In Nigeria, the process rises from the Nursery and Basic Secondary up to the Secondary and Higher Institution. At the higher institutional level, upon the attainment of the undergraduate degree, there could be want or need for topping the cap with Masters and maybe a Doctoral Degree. This explains the fact that education is continuous, and that each level is a mere stepping stone unto the other. This is because, without the lower degrees, one cannot in fact obtain the higher.
Top 17 Countries With the Best Education System in the World
Every nation has advantages and disadvantages when it comes to pursuing higher education overseas. While one nation might be renowned for its infrastructure, another might be renowned for its innovative degree programs.
For instance, the list of nations that have influenced modern education might include Finland, Denmark, Norway, Japan, Russia, and others if we looked at things like living standards, teacher-student ratios, and the availability of public research resources. Let’s determine the world’s best educational system while taking its quality Index and opportunity Index into account.
1. United States: The United States’ education process rises from primary and secondary education up to the higher education. Primary and secondary education put together last for a minimum period of 12 years. This is the “first through twelfth grades”. After the first through the twelfth grades, student proceed to college or university which is the higher education.
Universities in the United States offer varieties of quality courses as much as other countries. What really has made them exceptional? People from various countries are always willing to have this identity of having been to an American school. Education system in the United States is flexible and versatile.
The system is also keen to research and research methodology. The system is particular about practical processes and the application of technology. There is usually emphasis on the practical aspect. This grooms the students into understanding, managing and providing solutions to real life issues. United States has shown to possess and utilize adequate and advanced practical equipment.
The system balances teachers’ contribution to academic performance and that of the student. As stated earlier, the system is flexible and versatile. United States had attained this very height where the physical presence of students may not be warranted. There is efficiency in their ICT and network technologies which facilitate online learning with little or no obstruction. This extend to having quizzes and examinations online.
When it comes to scholarship, United States offer varieties of scholarship programs upon fulfilment of the requirement and upon qualification. Amazingly, US scholarship incorporates students from other countries. United States has notable Universities like US Columbian University, Michigan State University, Johns Hopkings University, etc.
2. United Kingdom: education process in the United Kingdom rises from primary education, secondary education, further education and higher education. According to the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, United Kingdom was in 2019 ranked number one on the list of best countries for education. The UK education system is also more flexible. They also offer education opportunities for international students.
Aside the United States, United Kingdom is the next in line country for international students. United Kingdom is a most revered country and as such, degrees obtained from the country is worldly recognized and regarded. Imagine obtaining a degree from Oxford and Cambridge, maybe the same qualification but gives an edge over other sources. Cost of education is UK in also regulated.
Education there is very much valued and individuals and bodies willing and in fact sponsoring the education sector, hence their ability to offer scholarship opportunities to students. United Kingdom has also notable prestigious universities. Schooling in UK is compulsory for children from five to sixteen year
3. Canada: Canada as a country places high value on education and consequently obtains and maintain a high standard education system. Canada offers free education through primary and secondary education. Schooling is compulsory for children from five years. Canada is also notable for offering scholarships both to international and indigenous students.
The education system and condition in Canada is favorable, flexible and efficient. Students are offered two years of general or three years of technical education. Canada offers free education for public high school for the residents. Canada is known for having quality academic institution across the country.
4. Germany: Germany tend to have similar practice and education system with United States. Enrolling for kindergarten in Germany is optional. Kids can be brought up through informal education, such which is learnt from parents and relations.
Germany education system also incorporate international students. Students also have the advantage of choosing the system of schooling since their secondary education is divided into five systems.
5. Switzerland: Switzerland is notable for quality staff and vocational training. Most of the educational levels are free upon payment of taxes by parents. The system also offer education opportunities to international students.
Switzerland has a decentralized system of education and is a multilingual federation. For international students, language learning is of utmost necessity. Education is compulsory for children within the age of four and eleven.
6. Sweden: education system in Sweden focuses more on practical, research and the use of digital technology. The system is notable for digital skills and quality teaching staff. Sweden education system is also notable for practicing the principle of Egalitarianism which is the principle of equality.
7. The Netherlands: The Netherlands being a non-English speaking country, became the first to design their curriculum in English. Their curriculum is flexible and allows students to freely choose their areas of interest. From the basic education till the age of 16, students do a full time program and thereafter, have the choice of continuing with a part-time course.
The system places emphasis and interest on skill and vocational training. In The Netherlands, tuition fee is only paid upon the students’ attainment of 16 years of age. The Netherlands offers also scholarships and subsidy to the tuition fees.
8. Finland: In Finland, there is no standardized testing for students except the National Matriculation Examination. The education system is liberal. Children start school as late as 7 years. The system practices 9 years of compulsory education, and any education surpassing the 9th grade or upon the attainment of age 16 is optional.
In Finland, classes start as late as 9:00 or 9:45 as opposed to the rush and sleepy early hour. The learning atmosphere is relaxed. The Government massively support the education system through National Agency of Education. They practice diversity of teaching methodology per student on the basis of individual differences.
9. Australia: in Australia, there is compulsory education for students from 6 to 15 years. Government offer massive financial support to the education system. Higher education focuses on training individual for personal growth for the application of the knowledge to the benefit of the society and the economy.
Australia offers best Vocational Education and Training (VET), a training offered to prepare individuals for employment. There is emphasis on practical learning and the country also offer opportunities to international students.
10. Denmark: Denmark has prestigious and notable universities like the University of Copenhagen, University of Southern Denmark, Roskilde University, etc. Schools in Denmark offers scholarships both to indigenous and international students.
Education is free for and compulsory for children below the age of 16. The system offer free education for citizens and permanent residents.
11. France: This is one of the countries in the world that students usually have in mind as their number one destination for study. This is undoubtedly because of their good education system. Education in France is divided into three namely; primary, secondary and higher education. The government of France has brought up several policies to make sure that good education is not a major problem of the country.
In France currently, education is compulsory for children within the age of 6 and 16. This is to ensure that even the least of their citizen is educated to an average level. It will also surprise you to know that about 24% of the annual budget of France is spent on education. The country is one of the few that can boast of about 90% literacy rate in the world today.
12. China: It is a known fact that China is one of the most advanced countries in the world currently because of its advanced technologies and productivity in almost every sector of the economy. In education, China is also not lagging behind and that has made the country one of the best in terms of education system. The most interesting thing about China’s education system is the fact that the government puts in a lot of efforts to make sure that people spend lesser amount of money to attend school.
Coupled with the above, students are usually given vocational training after school to ensure that they can, at least, provide for themselves. In 2022, the president of China, took it upon himself to increase the system of education in the country. He had the ideology that education is essential to eradicate poverty. This increased the efforts and resources put into education in the country.
12. Estonia: Number 12 on my list is Estonia. It is also known as the home of technical schools. The first university (University of Tartu) in the country was established in 1632, and till today, it is known for offering a world class education. Estonia has 100% men and women literacy rate currently. There has been many videos and articles corroborating the growth of education in Estonia over the years.
According to PISA, Students of Estonia ranked first among European countries in the domains of Science, Reading and mathematics. Gradually, it is becoming the new education powerhouse. The most interesting thing about Estonia education is the fact that students are trained to know that they can improve their intelligence if they put in efforts.
13. Hungary: Hungary is another powerful country when it comes to education and about 70% of schools in the country are owned by the government. It is one of the countries where you can get world class education at an affordable rate. The country has represented academic excellence for over 600 years. Usually, children from 3 – 6 years are offered compulsory Preschool kindergarten education.
Their education system is divided between colleges and universities. College education generally last for 4 years whereas university education last for 4 – 6 years. In general, Hungary has a literacy rate of 99.4 as at 2022. The country also attract foreign students from different parts of the world to study. In 2008/2009 the total number of foreign students were about 16916 according to Wikipedia.
Another interesting thing about Hungary is the fact that students get discount in some items. For example, there is a 50% discount transport fee for students who can provide a valid id card.
14. Japan: This highly developed country is known for having some of the best universities in the world. Japan has a top-notch educational system, and foreign students are eligible to apply for government-funded scholarships.
The University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Osaka University, and Tohoku University are among Japan’s top educational institutions.
15. Israel: Israel is ranked second among nations with the best educational systems. The intellectual prowess of Israel is well-known around the world. You won’t need to be concerned about the caliber of education if you pursue a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or even PhD in this nation.
Both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs are offered by all universities.
16. Slovenia: Slovenia is much smaller than most of the other nations on this list. On the other hand, the nation boasts a strong educational system. Slovenia’s top two universities are Maribor and the University of Ljubljana.
17. South Korea: South Korea should not be neglected when discussing the best educational system in the world. One of the nations that has worked diligently to improve its educational system, it has so far been successful. Korea University, Seoul National University, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), Seoul Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and others are among the top universities in the globe.
A few European nations have also built a well-balanced higher education system, in addition to the aforementioned nations. In fact, a number of nations have carved out a market for particular types of programs (fields), with Germany and the Netherlands dominating the automotive industry. Additionally, Finland and France are recognized for their work in artificial intelligence. When it comes to computer science courses, Ireland is in the lead. Even the biggest tech behemoths have corporate headquarters in Ireland. Although it may be claimed that this is due to their corporate-friendly tax system. But the higher education system there is significantly impacted by the existence of these businesses. In addition, nations like Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland have created outstanding systems for higher education.
In addition to European countries, Korea and Israel also have among the best education systems in the world in the areas of science and technology. One of the most difficult educational systems in the world is thought to exist in South Korea. The countries with the most challenging educational systems worldwide include the US, Australia, the UK, and Canada.