Swedish pupils gain ground in global education rankings

Emma Löfgren
Emma Löfgren - [email protected]
Swedish pupils gain ground in global education rankings
Swedish pupils are doing better in maths and science. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedes are cheering a new international ranking which suggests schoolkids have improved their performance in maths and science, after years of tumbling down global education tables.


A report published on Tuesday made happy reading for the Swedes, whose education system has suffered blow upon blow in international education rankings in recent years.

The study, carried out by education research group Timss, revealed that Swedish 10-year-olds and 14-year-olds improved their results last year, compared to the previous survey in 2011.

In maths the 10-year-olds finished the test with an average score of 519 points, up by 15 on 2011, and the science test with a score of 540, up by seven.

The 14-year-olds improved their performance in maths to 501 points, up by 17, and in science 522 points, up by 13.

"The IEA's Timss 2015 study of mathematics and science achievement reveals that for Sweden both grade 4 and grade 8 student performance improved between 2011 and 2015," Dirk Hastedt, the executive director of the group behind the Timss study, the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA), told The Local.

"This continues the established positive trend for grade 4, and reverses the previous trend for grade 8," he added.

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Those studying maths in the third year of Sweden's senior high school gymnasiet, referred to in the study as 'grade 12', scored 431, improving their performance by 19 points on the 2008 test. However, those studying physics dropped by 42 points to an average score of 455.

"Sweden was one of only two countries that showed an improvement in results for grade 12 math specialists. Congratulations to Sweden!" said Hastedt.

However, Sweden still has a long way to go. The top-performing country was Singapore, which scored 618 and 590 in fourth and tenth-grade maths and 621 respectively 597 in sciences.

The results of the major Pisa 2015 global survey, which measures pupils' skills in maths, reading comprehension and natural sciences, are set to be revealed next week.

READ ALSO: The Local's interview with Sweden's education minister


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