New Zealand has been ranked as having one of the top education systems in the world.

Out of 40 countries, New Zealand came eighth in The Learning Curve global education report, published by education firm Pearson.

The report looked at the performance rates of various countries in reading, writing and maths, using existing data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Researchers found that those countries at the top of the league table and dubbed the "education superpowers" - Finland and South Korea - prioritised developing high-quality teachers.


Countries such as Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore had societies where education and learning was of the greatest importance and where parents were very much involved with their children's education.

Although money invested into education systems was always needed, having a particular culture for learning was a key ingredient for success, researchers said.

"Good teachers" had the ability to bring about positive change among their students, instilling in them, for example, the need to save money for later in life.

"While there is no doubt that money invested in education reaps rewards, cultural change around education and ambition is equally - if not more - important than income in promoting better educational outcomes," the report said.

NZ Educational Institute spokesman Paul Goulter praised teachers' work.

He said the close culture among Kiwi teachers and a passion to do the best for pupils had always been key factors for a successful education model. "The profession is about teaching children and doing it not for the pay, but for them."

Top 10
1 Finland
2 South Korea
3 Hong Kong
4 Japan
5 Singapore
6 United Kingdom
7 Netherlands
8 New Zealand
9 Switzerland
10 Canada