Germany 'best country', UK top for education says global survey

Which country do people around the world regard as the planet's best? The answer, it seems, is Germany, with Canada and the UK in second and third places.

Berlin, Germany
The Best Overall Countries list, based on how 16,000 people around the world perceive 60 of the world's wealthiest nations, coupled with an analysis of a host of factors from economic clout to education, was compiled as a joint venture by US News & World Report, BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.US News & World Report explained, "The responses were divided into eight broad topics and a further category called Movers, a research-based metric from BAV that is predictive of a country's future GDP growth. The topics include adventure, citizenship, entrepreneurship, heritage, influence, movers, open for business, power and quality of life."Germany was seen as the top country for encouraging entrepreneurship and was highly regarded for providing global leadership and caring for its citizens."Its leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom both the Financial Times and Time magazine named as their Person of the Year for 2015, has actively led her government to confront some of the world's most pressing challenges, such as the Greek debt crisis and the waves of immigrants sweeping across Europe," said the report."Canada, which recently elected a new liberal government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is rated highly on quality of life issues and transparency, while the UK is seen as an influential country that is the best nation to obtain an education."The United States, despite being the world's greatest military power and largest economy, ranks only fourth in the list."There really does seem to be some skepticism about some things that we (Americans) think we may do better than other people do, education being a prime one," commented Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer at US News & World Report."Canada and the United Kingdom do better than the US in education. People don't feel as comfortable about US education as perhaps we've been led to believe."Rounding out the top 10 were Sweden, Australia, Japan, France, the Netherlands and Denmark. Japan, a country known for its technological prowess, was rated highly for its entrepreneurship, while Sweden rated first in citizenship, a progressive ranking that factors in education and the climate for women and the LGBT community.US News & World Report said, "A common thread among the leading countries is a strong role for the government in the everyday lives of the citizenry."Strong social safety nets – including the provision of low-cost college education and health care in countries like Germany, Sweden and Austria – are allied with a joint role for business and government in economic policy. This stands in stark contrast to the United States, where political debates often rage about the role of government in the economy, and soaring university student loan debt is seen as a major national issue threatening future prosperity."Algeria, with its problems over civil liberties, terrorism and high unemployment, finished at the bottom of the rankings just ahead of Ukraine, Iran, Nigeria and Pakistan. "All of the low-ranking countries face common challenges of corruption, conflict and a poor quality of life for their citizens. Many are struggling with insurgent movements and terrorism within their borders," added the report.Despite the high rankings of Western nations, the survey's respondents saw Asia as a key for the future. The top five-ranked countries in the Movers sub-ranking – India, Singapore, China, Thailand and Japan – all came from the continent, with Singapore regarded as the most forward-looking country, with Japan and South Korea also rated highly."India, which is the (world's) largest democracy, has emerged as a global leader," Dnyaneshwar Mulay, consul general of India in New York City, said in an interview with BAV."India encourages pluralism, inclusiveness and equal opportunity to all its citizens. It has strong soft power of long heritage, diverse forms of arts and culture and strong values such as respect for all and non-violence. "John Gerzema, chairman and CEO at BAV Consulting, said the rankings showed that the idea of power was changing around the world. "We live in a social, open and interdependent world. And in this world what we saw that people valued more were things like global citizenship, quality of life and innovation that was creating inclusive prosperity for more people," he said.For essential information about all aspects of state and independent education, universities, colleges and schools in the UK and across the globe, don't miss Re:locate's Guide to International Education & Schools. Click here for more details and to reserve your copy.

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