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Saxony tops education ranking

Saxony has won top ranking in Germany’s annual Education Monitor review, in which states are assessed on 110 indicators, including provision of schools, day-care centres and drop-out rates.

The Cologne Institute for Economic Research study, released on 15 August, said the state had achieved the most significant improvements in its educational infrastructure and increases in educational opportunities and therefore had the best opportunity for growth.

Saxony scored 86.8 points out of a possible 100, just ahead of another east German state, Thüringen, with 85.8 points. Hubertus Pellengahr, director of the Initiative for a New Social Market Economy, which sponsors the assessment, said the two states had successfully tackled educational deprivation and improved access to academic degrees, especially in the natural and technical sciences.

Thanking teachers and pupils for the good score, Saxony’s education minister, Brunhild Kurth, said the good performance did not mean that the state could reduce its efforts.

Baden-Württemberg came third with 81.8 points. Hamburg was ranked eighth but showed the biggest points improvement compared with the 2011 assessment. Schleswig-Holstein finished last with 66.3 points, 0.1 behind Berlin, which was bottom last year.

Schleswig-Holstein’s education minister, Wara Wende, said indicators that she considered important were omitted by the study. Schools should not be seen only as places of competition, she said: imparting social, emotional and creative skills was also important.

The Cologne Institute for Economic Research said that after nine annual studies it was clear that that the effort to enhance education infrastructure and expand opportunities for participation had already paid off economically.

The number of university graduates had increased by 556,000 since the year 2000, the institute said. The study’s authors estimated that this growth alone was worth €9.4 billion to the German economy.