The OECD's latest Pisa survey released its results of the education performance of 15-year-olds. Finland was proven to be the third strongest economy in reading literacy after Korea and China (Shanghai). The survey is based on tests of a half million students in more than 70 countries.

This time the survey focused on student's reading literacy skills. For the first time the survey tested students' ability to manage digital information in addition to mathematics and science.

The OECD's Secretary-General Angel Gurría says that "better educational outcomes are a strong predictor for future economic growth". At the same time students' performance seems to benefit from economic wealth; a better-paid teacher and smaller class sizes yield better results.

The Finnish Institute's Society Programme Director Jussi Nissilä comments on the teacher's role in Finland's success in the survey: "Even if the relative income of the teachers is not high in Finland, the teaching profession is socially highly valued and respected. All the teachers have a postgraduate university degree, which also depicts the fact that education is highly appreciated in Finland throughout the society. This is clearly one reason for Finland's success in the PISA survey."

However, the direct connection between wealth and educational standards is changing little by little. The results show that two economies with very similar levels of prosperity can produce very different results. According to Secretary-General Gurría, this may demonstrate that an image of the world divided into wealthy and well-educated and poor and badly-educated countries is out of date.

Jussi Nissilä thinks Finland is a good example of that high quality education is reached by investing into an equitable and extensive education system. "It is not only a question of money, but also of appreciation and of public support."

More information: OECD