• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Switzerland makes top six in world literacy study
Photo: Jo Naylor

Switzerland makes top six in world literacy study

The Local · 10 Mar 2016, 12:13

Published: 10 Mar 2016 12:13 GMT+01:00

The World’s Most Literate Nations (WMLN) study, conducted by John W Miller, president of the Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), is the first to analyze large-scale trends in literate behaviour and literacy in more than 61 countries for which data was available.

Its methodology used five categories as indicators of a nation’s literate health: the number of libraries, the level of newspaper readership, education inputs (meaning years of compulsory schooling and public expenditure on education), reading test scores in schools and computer availability.

Coming sixth, Switzerland was beaten only by the Nordic countries, with Finland taking the top spot followed by Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Sweden.

While it scored relatively badly for the number of libraries (ranking 32), Switzerland came fourth in the newspaper category, which assessed the per capita number of paid-for daily newspapers, issues printed and news websites.

It came 15th in computer availability, which ranked the percentage of households owning a desktop or laptop computer, 16th in test scores and 11th in education inputs.

In a statement, Miller said: “The power of literacy and the value of being part of a literate world is often taken for granted.”

“The factors we examined present a complex and nuanced portrait of a nation’s cultural vitality.”

According to the Swiss federal statistics office, only 13.8 percent of women and 10.2 percent of men in Switzerland do not pursue further education beyond compulsory schooling.

The majority complete compulsory education at a state school, with only around five percent attending a private school.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), annual public spending on education in Switzerland is among the highest of OECD countries, spending $17 per student compared with the OECD average of $10 per student.

Story continues below…

The WMLN rankings would be very different if test scores were the only indicators used, said Miller.

“The Pacific Rim countries, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and China, would top the list if test performance was the only measure. Finland would be the only non-Pacific Rim country to rank high.”

“When factors such as library size and accessibility are added in, the Pacific Rim nations drop dramatically,” he said.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Six authors who found inspiration in Switzerland
Chillon as it was in Byron's time. Photo: www.mymontreux.ch

It's 200 years since English poet Lord Byron visited Lake Geneva, putting it firmly on the literary map. But he's not the only one to have found inspiration in the country's hills and glaciers...

Brexit vote will hit Swiss economy: president
Schneider-Ammann has warned the Swiss economy could suffer. Photo: AFP

President Johann Schneider-Ammann has warned that Brexit will have a negative impact on the Swiss economy.

River swimmers advised of cold water risks
Cooling off should be done with care. Photo: bad-info.ch

As Switzerland basks in the sun swimmers are being warned that many rivers have yet to heat up.

SNB moves to stabilize franc after Brexit vote
The SNB is worried about the franc's strength. Photo: AFP

Central bank intervenes in the foreign exchange market to stabilize the franc following Brexit.

‘Leap into the unknown’: Swiss press on Brexit
The EU flag won't be hanging from British buildings in future. Photo: AFP

Britain's historic vote to leave the European Union is a recipe for uncertainty and turbulence, Swiss papers say.

Football: Swiss prep for Poland clash
The Swiss in training ahead of Saturday's game. Photo: AFP

The Swiss 'Nati' are gearing about to face Poland in the last 16 at Euro 2016 on Saturday.

 Self-driving shuttles premiere in Sion
Two shuttles are operating in Sion's old town. Photo: PostBus

In a first for Switzerland, driverless post buses are now carrying passengers in Sion.

Geneva to get 'café fellatio' by end of year
File photo: Jen/Flickr

A firm in Geneva plans to open a café where customers can enjoy oral sex while they sip their morning coffee. Not everyone is happy with the idea.

Asylum seeker fined 900 Swiss francs for kiss on cheek
The main train station in Aarau where the incident occurred. Photo: Kecko/Flickr

An asylum seeker who earlier this year sexually harassed two young women and kissed one of them on the cheek was fined 900 Swiss Francs (€830) it has emerged.

Swiss technology
Swiss solar plane completes historic Atlantic crossing
Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard of the sun-powered Solar Impulse 2 aircraft, celebrates at Sevilla airport on Thursday. Photo: AFP

UPDATED: The feat is a world-first for solar-powered flight.

Features
How Switzerland's scenery inspired some of the world's greatest authors
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
National
A guaranteed basic income: why did the Swiss say no?
Photo: Andreas Gerth/Swiss-Image.ch
Features
Switzerland’s breathtaking Unesco World Heritage sites
Photo: Nestle
Culture
Nestlé celebrates 150 years with museum openings
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Photo: Jan Geerk/Swiss-image.ch
National
Report: Swiss are officially ‘good’ for the planet
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
National
World agog at bizarre Gotthard Base Tunnel opening
Photo: Coop
Swiss supermarkets look to scrap free plastic bags
Photo: IMD
Business & Money
Report: Swiss economy more competitive than US
Photo: Aargau police
National
Murderer escapes from Swiss psych hospital
Photo: Grande-Dixence SA/essencedesign.com
Features
8 fantastic reasons to visit French-speaking Switzerland
Photo: Terroir Fribourg
Lifestyle
Swiss village to make world’s biggest meringue
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Features
10 unspoken rules for fitting in with the Swiss
Photo: Alp Transit Gotthard
National
Gotthard base tunnel: what you need to know
Photo: Caroline Bishop
Sport
Swiss cantons team up to vie for winter Olympic games
Photo: Broad Bean Media
National
Basel: Muslim schoolboys must shake hands or face fine
Photo: Emmanual Dunand/AFP
Sport
Brother of Belgian bomber wins gold in Switzerland
Photo: Gstaad Tourism
National
Snow puts end to hottest weekend of year so far
File photo: Abhishek Jacob
Lifestyle
Swiss court vetoes wedding of couple with 50-year age gap
Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
Culture
Dog day afternoon: Swiss saint meets Pope in Rome
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Business & Money
Pink diamond sold for record-breaking $31m in Geneva
File photo: Candida Performa
Lifestyle
Revealed: living in Switzerland could prolong your life
Photo: Cervo
Travel
In pictures: Switzerland’s most welcoming hotels
4,664
jobs available