The UAE has maintained a stable position in global education rankings, with performance in maths improving but progress “flat” in reading and science.
The latest edition of Pisa scores – run by the OECD and published every three years – show that the nation’s 15-year-olds, as well as those across the Middle East, are continuing to be outperformed by their peers in other developed countries.
The UAE achieved better results than most other Middle East nations with pupils assessed last year achieving average scores of 435, in maths, an increase of 7.5 points compared to 2015. The UAE scored 432 in reading, a drop of 1.8, and 434 in science, a fall of 3.1.
The UAE outperformed Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which took part in Pisa for the first time, across all three subjects. But all Middle East countries performed below the OECD average in all three subjects.
In terms of where the UAE sits internationally, the country fell from 47th to 50th place in maths, despite increasing its score in the subject. In reading, it improved its ranking by two places, to 46th, and in science it fell back from 46th to 49th.
The UAE government said it aims to be among the top 20 countries or PISA scores by 2021, when the next cycle of the assessments will take place.
To meet the target, there will have to be rapid progress, with the OECD report categorising the UAE’s overall trajectory as “stable” in all three subjects over the last decade.