Finnish ninth-graders finished first once again in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study of the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in industrialised countries.
The main focus in the most recent study was mathematics.
Finland placed number one in the first PISA study in 2000, which focused on literacy. The third area of competence that the study will measure is natural sciences.
A total of 41 countries were covered by the second PISA study. Some 200 Finnish schools and nearly 6,000 Finnish students participated.
The results of PISA 2003 will officially be published on December 6th in Brussels. The results were reported in advance by the German paper Stern.
The first PISA results attracted plenty of attention in Germany, as the country placed only in the mid-range. The results did not improve much this time around, as Germany was ranked 17th in math skills.
Finnish education experts are not surprised by Finland’s top placing. The high level of literacy in Finland did not come as a surprise, but neither did the math skills of the country’s teens.
"We have focused on developing core skills all the time", commented Kirsi Lindroos, the Director General of the Finnish National Board of Education.