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EDUCATION

Norwegian teens over the hump in global school rankings

Norwegian 15-year-olds have made clear improvements in the latest edition of the global Pisa education ranking.

Norwegian teens over the hump in global school rankings
Norwegian students are now above the OECD average in all three disciplines. Photo: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix
Norway’s students performed better in science, math and reading than they did three years ago, and are now above the OECD average in all three disciplines.
 
In the last Pisa rankings, released in 2013, Norwegian students were below average in both math and science, and only above average in reading.
 
In three years, Norwegian 15-year-olds increased by three points in science, five points in reading and one point in math. 
 
A total of 24 countries are above the OECD average in all three disciplines. 
 
Norway ranked 24th overall, ahead of countries like the US, Sweden, France, Russia and Spain. 
 
 
Singapore, Japan, Estonia, Taiwan and Finland topped the rankings, which tests 15-year-olds in 72 countries and territories. 
 
Norway is the third best Nordic country after Finland (5th) and Denmark (21st).
 
“On the right path”
“There are many indications that we are on the right path. We must thank the teachers and principals for the important work they do,” Education Minister Torbjørn Røe Isaksen said. 
 
In mathematics, Norway is among the countries with the greatest progress since the previous Pisa ranking. In science, the results have been stable since 2009, but there was a slight improvement compared to 2006.
 
But where Norwegian students really distinguish themselves is when it comes to reading. Norwegian teens are among the best in the entire OECD.
 
More details on Norway's Pisa performance can be see here:
 

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UN

Why Norway is set to lose top spot on UN development ranking

Norway regularly takes the top spot on the United Nations Human Development Index, but a new parameter is set to change that.

Why Norway is set to lose top spot on UN development ranking
File photo: AFP

The UN’s Human Development Index (HDI) ranks countries on how well they provide conditions for people to reach their potential, using parameters including life expectancy at birth, expected years of schooling and gross national income.

Norway is top of the 2020 HDI, a ranking not uncommon for the Nordic nation.

The report, which comes from the UN Development programme (UNDP), ranks countries in relation to progress on the UN’s global development targets. Like it was this year, Norway is regularly ranked the world’s top nation by the UN.

Despite this consistency, Norway can no longer call itself the ‘world’s best country’ based on the ranking, national broadcaster NRK writes.

A new addition to the ranking will include the costs to nature and the environment of gross national product. That will make CO2 admissions and individual carbon footprints part of the broader assessment of development.

According to the UNDP, emissions are a new and experimental lens through which to view development. But the inclusion of climate and the environment gives the index a different look.

When CO2 emissions and resource consumption are factored in, Norway finds itself in a much more moderate 16th place on the UN development ranking.

The adjusted list is yet to be published by the UN, but the Norwegian national broadcaster has been informed of the new positions, NRK states in the report.

Norway’s CO2 emissions of 8.3 tonnes per resident are among the 30 worst values of included countries, and it also fares poorly in a measurement of material resource use per resident, resulting in a lower overall position.

“Norway loses its top placing because of our high imprint on the planet. This is an import debate and it’s time we had it,” Bård Vegar Solhjell, director of the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), told NRK.

READ ALSO: Norway ranked world's top nation for 'human development'

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