Education in the Baltic Sea
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.
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