US ranks 18th in providing future-skills education for youth, according to the Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI)

March 08, 2019 - 09:21
US ranks 18th in providing future-skills education for youth, according to the Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI)

LOS ANGELES, US MediaOutReach - 7 March 2019 - 


  • US underperforms most of its rich-world peers in the secondedition of the Worldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI), produced byThe Economist Intelligence Unit and commissioned by the Yidan Prize Foundation
  • Finland's strong policy, teaching and socio-economicenvironments propel it to top of the 50-economy ranking Switzerland and NewZealand follow closely behind Finland, New Zealand having taken the top spot in2017's inaugural ranking
  • Ghana leads among low-income economies, based on thestrength of its strategy to teach future skills and supportive assessmentframeworks


TheWorldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2018: Top ten economies








New Zealand









7 (tie)







Future-focused approaches toeducation must move beyond rigid, exam-based methods and encompassproblem-based learning, innovative teaching methods and broader themes ofglobal citizenship. Progress on transforming the world's education systems tomeet these goals is uneven, according to a new report released today by TheEconomist Intelligence Unit (EIU).


Themed "Building tomorrow's globalcitizens", the white paper is commissioned by the Yidan PrizeFoundation and based on the findings of the second annual Worldwide Educating forthe Future Index. With a focus on young people aged 15-24 in 50 economies, itmeasures three pillars of education systems--policy approaches, teachingconditions and broader gauges of societal freedom and openness--as a means ofreadying young people to meet the challenges of work and society in future. Itremains the only major ranking to assess inputs to education systems and standsin contrast to measures like the OECD's Programme for International StudentAssessment, which looks at exam-like outputs.


With comprehensive policies,well-trained teachers and strong assessment frameworks to test for futureskills, small, wealthy, globally connected economies like Finland, Canada andSingapore comprise the top performers. But greater wealth is not a panacea:Ghana punches well above its weight when measured against GDP per head, ranking25th overall, while Mexico, Colombia and the Philippines merit favourablemention for their work in policy areas, as does Costa Rica for its efforts toadapt teaching to the demands of tomorrow. On the other hand, the US, due to ahighly decentralised education model and uneven distribution of resources, punchesfar below its economic weight.


TheWorldwide Educating for the Future Index (WEFFI) 2018: Top low-income economies


Overall rank







The Philippines











Michael Gold, editor of the reportsaid, "The second edition of the index shows that while education systems arestarting to recognise the importance of holistic approaches to learning, manygaps still exist. Economies around the world must strengthen assessmentframeworks, regularise reviews of curriculums and improve teaching conditions.Perhaps most importantly, the recent retrenchment away from globalisation bymany economies may threaten students' abilities to develop an inquisitive mind-setand tackle the big problems of tomorrow."


Thefull report is available for download here.Readers can also download short written snapshots of four economies covered inthe index: Finland, Ghana, the US and Vietnam.


Noteto editors:

TheWorldwide Educating for the Future Index 2019 assesses the extent to whicheducation systems are equipping youth aged 15-24 with the skills needed infuture. It covers 50 economies representing 93% of global GDP and over 6bnpeople. The economies were selected for balance across multiple factors, includingincome levels, population size and geographic representation. The indexincludes 21 indicators across three thematic categories: policy environment,teaching environment and socio-economic environment. A full explanation of themethodology can be found in the appendix of the report.

About The Economist Intelligence Unit

The EIU isthe thought leadership, research and analysis division of The Economist Groupand the world leader in global business intelligence for executives. We uncovernovel and forward-looking perspectives with access to over 650 expert analystsand editors across 200 countries worldwide. More information can be found Follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

About the Yidan Prize Foundation

Founded in 2016 by Dr Charles CHENYidan, a core founder of Tencent, the Yidan Prize has a mission of creating abetter world through education. It consists of two awards, the Yidan Prize forEducation Research and the Yidan Prize for Education Development. Yidan PrizeLaureates each receives a gold medal and a total sum of HK$30m, half of whichis a cash prize while the other half is a project fund. To ensure transparencyand sustainability, the prize is managed by Yidan Prize Foundation and governedby an independent trust with an endowment of HK$2.5bn. Through a series of initiatives,the prize aims to establish a platform for the global community to engage inconversation around education and to play a role in education philanthropy.