The global rankings consistently place Finland’s higher education system at the top of the pile, taking into account both performance and enjoyment. The UK are by no means slacking in terms of results, however it is widely acknowledged that UK schooling may not bring the best out of some characters, just striving for the best results.

Here are a few interesting things to consider about the Finnish system: • A major surprise may be that there is no form of standardized testing, which is the way the majority of countries judge the success of the pupils. There is something called the National Matriculation Exam, which is a voluntary test for students at the end of upper secondary school. Every student is graded on an individual basis by their teachers, and overall progression is masterminded by the Ministry of Education.

• In Finland there is rarely a question over the teachers’ performances, mainly due to the strict selective process. All teachers have to obtain a master’s degree in their subject before pursuing the profession. This may be why there is success in the one-to-one grading dynamic between teacher and pupil, which is virtually incomparable to a few exams set by the government to decide a pupil’s ability.

• Schools in Finland promote co-operation over competition, because they believe there is no value in a competitive environment. This results in there being no lists of top schools or best teachers, as well as no private schools striving to be better than the rest.

• A simple, but inspiring, part of their system is that students begin schooling at the age of 7 and only have 9 compulsory years in education. This is to promote the opportunity to let a child be a child so to speak, which is being lost in many developed countries around the globe.

• Something that may be welcoming new to any teen would be a laer wake up, and this is exactly what the Finns have done. Schools usually begin after 9:00AM, and research has shown that these earlier start times allow for better health, focus and concentration while in school. They outwardly promote their idea of not cramming information into each lesson, but to create a rewarding learning environment.

• Linking back to the idea of a successful relationship between student and teacher, Finnish students may find they have the same teacher for up to 6 years. This allows them to become a mentor to them and give more accurate grades by the end of their education. In addition, class sizes are smaller, allowing them to get to know their students better as everyone has their own individual learning type and strengths/weaknesses.

• One area often overlooked is to have a relaxed environment for the staff as well. Teacher rooms are built in schools where they can relax or prepare for the upcoming lessons. They also have the opportunity to socialize throughout the day, therefore this makes teachers happier, resulting in a better lesson in the first place. Alongside this, during the day there are several 15-20-minute breaks for the students to switch off and gather their thoughts.

• Finally, according to the OECD, students in Finland have the least amount of homework, on average only spending 30 minutes a night on schoolwork. This allows them to get outside more, form lifelong relationships, instead of worrying about grades and school stuff.

All of these matters considered, it is amazing that Finland is outperforming competitive cultures of pressure and excessive workloads.