Education in the Baltic Sea States

The Baltic Sea States as well as Scandinavia are known for having good public education systems and universities. Many are renown around the world for providing free and high-quality education as part of an extensive social welfare state. On a per-country basis, the universities are often highly acclaimed and claim to produce excellent talent.

1. Norway - Education is free through the university level. Norway is one of the very few countries in the world which provide free education to foreign students. At the Secondary and Elementary education levels, education is based entirely from the US education model. Many have indicated that this has really helped Norway be internationally competitive, while others contend that it is a hindrance. Either way, Norway is a widely recognized leader in the field of education.

2. Finland - Finland's education system is the subject of international attention because of the good results that it receives on major international assessments. They have a very unique system that encourages improvement on a continual basis, and have high standards for teacher education and training. In the past, they were known for having very poor quality schools but have since made plenty of improvements. The education system in Finland is directly responsible for creating a boom in technological innovation with companies such as Rovio (creator of Angry Birds) and Nokia.

3. Sweden - Sweden is known for having a school system based on free-market ideas. They offer school vouchers which allow children to attend any school they would like without charge, private schools included. Some politicians would like to eliminate these private schools, but they still remain popular. University education is also free, and as such admission is highly competitive.

4. Estonia - Estonia provides basic compulsory education through the use of 589 public schools. This is another top-performing country, with high levels of educational attainment across the board. Approximately 89% of the country has completed high school and the average student has achieved a 514 score in literacy, math, and science in international assessments. Estonia is a technologically-advanced society with innovative ideas everywhere.

5. Latvia - The country has a rich intellectual tradition based on many years of higher learning. Education includes humanities, science/mathematics, and a large vocational component. Students with vocational as well as general education backgrounds may attend higher education institutions.

6. Lithuania - Lithuania's education system requires students to attend for 12 years, with an additional vocational component. Lithuanian education is free, and the government has delegated control to individual schools as of most recently.

7. Poland - Poland is widely known for leading a successful reform of it's education system most recently in 1999. The reforms have improved quality and performance in reading, math, and science. The reforms also created a three-pronged system which divided education into the familiar primary, secondary, and tertiary education format.

8. Russia - Russia is unique in that it has a very centralized university system. There is still a high level of corruption, but it has been minimized with reforms targeting the levels of corruption within the system at the university level. Most recently, corruption has shifted to the high school level.

For the relatively natural resource poor Baltic states, Education holds the ticket for a better economy. As such, education has attracted plenty of government investment. Education has led to plenty of investment and education from the Baltic governments to keep it's schools internationally competitive.

home page

© 2013, All Rights Reserved