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Finland Leads for the Second Year Globally in Providing Future-skills Education for Youth, According to the 2019 Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI)

  • Finland's universal future skills strength across all index
    pillars including policy and teaching environment and access to technology see
    it retain its lead among 50 economies in the third edition of the Worldwide Educating for the Future
    Index (WEFFI), produced by The Economist Intelligence Unit and commissioned
    by the Yidan Prize Foundation
  • Sweden and New Zealand ranked second and third, with Sweden
    advancing two places and New Zealand maintaining its third position from 2018's
    results
  • The Philippines, Ghana and Mexico all performed strongly
    among a new income-adjusted ranking due to their ability to channel their more
    limited resources to implement strong policy and advance a future skills agenda
  • Among the world's largest economies, the US, UK,
    France and Russia all fell in their rankings while China, India and Indonesia
    advanced their scores

HONG KONG, CHINA - Media OutReach - 14 January 2020 - 

The
Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2019: Top ten economies

Rank

Economy

1

Finland

2

Sweden

3

New Zealand

4

Singapore

5

Netherlands

6

Canada

7

Switzerland

8

Australia

9

Germany

10

Japan

 

Consensus on the need to adopt future-focused
approaches to education has grown in countries globally but implementation of
policy to make such changes remains the largest challenge to preparing students
for the challenges that await them in work and society according to a new
report released today by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Themed "From Policy to Practice",
the white paper is commissioned by the Yidan Prize Foundation and based on the
findings of the third annual Worldwide Educating for the Future Index. With a
focus on young people aged 15-24 in 50 economies, it measures three pillars of
education systems--policy approaches, teaching conditions and broader gauges of
societal freedom and openness--as a means of readying young people to meet the
challenges of work and society in future. It remains the only major ranking to
assess inputs to education systems and stands in contrast to measures like the
OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment, which looks at exam-like
outputs.

The report shows that the need to
develop future skills like critical thinking, creativity, entrepreneurship and
analysis is more vital than ever given the continuing advances in technology
and artificial intelligence. A number of countries, including Finland, Sweden
and New Zealand, are embracing this education challenge through comprehensive
policies, well-trained teachers and strong assessment frameworks to test for
future skills. A new income adjusted ranking also showed that many lower-income
countries, including the Philippines, Ghana, Mexico and Vietnam, are also
performing well with particular strengths in their policy and teaching
environments.

The
Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2019: Income-adjusted ranks

Rank

Overall rank

Economy

1

1

Finland

2

23

Philippines

3

26

Ghana

4

3

New Zealand

5

20

Mexico

6

2

Sweden

7

31

Vietnam

8

28

Indonesia

9

10

Japan

10

6

Canada

Among developed countries, the UK
and the US demonstrated notable ranking declines, falling from 10th
and 18th respectively in 2018 to 15th and 22nd in
2019. With Brexit coming to dominate the political agenda in the UK and a
decentralised education system weakening national policy objectives in the US,
inattention to education is beginning to have a significant impact, as
reflected in falls in the education policy environment in these countries.

"The third edition of the index
shows that while more economies have incorporated the future skills agenda into
their education policies over the past two years, policy implementation still
remains weak in many nations," Georgia McCafferty, editor of the report said. "Progress
in adapting assessment frameworks, quality assurance frameworks and teacher
training all need to accelerate."

"The recent rise of nativism and
populism in some quarters of the world, along with a rejection of
globalisation, makes the need for students develop future-oriented skills like
critical thinking and analysis even more urgent in order for them to combat
these forces," she added.

More
details and an executive summary of the report are available here.

Note to editors:

The
Worldwide
Educating for the Future Index 2019
assesses the extent to which education systems are equipping youth aged 15-24
with the skills needed in future. It covers 50 economies representing 93% of
global GDP, 88% of the global population and 81% of the global youth population.
The economies were selected for balance across multiple factors, including
income levels, population size, youth populations and geographic representation.
The index includes 20 indicators and 57 sub-indicators across three thematic
categories: policy environment, teaching environment and socio-economic
environment. A full explanation of the methodology can be found in the appendix
of the report.

About The Economist Intelligence Unit

The EIU is
the thought leadership, research and analysis division of The Economist Group
and the world leader in global business intelligence for executives. We uncover
novel and forward-looking perspectives with access to over 650 expert analysts
and editors across 200 countries worldwide. More information can be found on
www.eiuperspectives.economist.com. Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

About the Yidan Prize Foundation

Founded in 2016 by Dr Charles CHEN
Yidan, a core founder of Tencent, the Yidan Prize has a mission of creating a
better world through education. It consists of two awards, the Yidan Prize for
Education Research and the Yidan Prize for Education Development. Yidan Prize
Laureates each receives a gold medal and a total sum of HK$30m, half of which
is a cash prize while the other half is a project fund. To ensure transparency
and sustainability, the prize is managed by Yidan Prize Foundation and governed
by an independent trust with an endowment of HK$2.5bn. Through a series of
initiatives, the prize aims to establish a platform for the global community to
engage in conversation around education and to play a role in education
philanthropy.

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