Education in Europe is one subject where the facts rarely conform to the experience.
The expansion of higher education, the vast learning opportunities available through the internet and improving examination pass rates mean that school-leavers should now be recognised as more knowledgeable and competent than peers from previous generations.
Yet, the difference between reality and perception is stark.
Parents and non-parents alike will be aware of mounting concern across Europe about educational standards, the quality of teaching staff and the poor behaviour of some pupils.
Government planners, troubled by budgetary worries, will look at the OECD league table of nations ranked by the competence of children in maths, reading and science and tremble at the lead taken by some Asian countries and the impact this may have on future economic competitivity.
These themes are at the heart of this podcast interview. Education experts from Ireland and Finland, join a parent of Korean origin, a think-tank education specialist from London’s Policy Exchange and the Council of Europe’s top educationalist to provide answers to some of the key questions driving educational reform across the region.
Information: Council of Europe for education and languages
Podcast: How learning lost its fun
Information: Policy Exchange – Education
Survey: OECD – Comparing countries’ and economies’ performance
News: Raise teacher status to improve schools, says OECD
Video: Education reform
Opinion: Giacomo Neri – Education Reality Check
Opinion: Amy Chua – Why Chinese mothers are superior
Information: Edgeryders project