University of Gothenburg

International surveys

International education surveys are constructed to assess country-level differences and change over time. For more than half a century, international large-scale assessments administered by IEA and OECD have provided a large body of data from many educational systems all over the world.

IEA and OECD studies


became a legal entity in 1967, but its origins date back to 1958 when a group of scholars, educational psychologists, sociologists and psychometricians met at the UNESCO Institute for Education in Hamburg to discuss problems of school and student evaluation (Arthur W. Foshay in Educational Achievement of Thirteen-year-Olds in Twelve Countries).

IEA (International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement) is an international cooperative of national research institutions, government research agencies, scholars, and analysts working to evaluate, understand, and improve education worldwide. IEA administers TIMSS, PIRLS, ICCS, and ICILS.


Are students well prepared for future challenges? Can they analyse, reason and communicate effectively? Do they have the capacity to continue learning throughout life? The OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) answers these questions and more, through its surveys of 15-year-olds in the principal industrialised countries. Every three years, it assesses how far students near the end of compulsory education have acquired some of the knowledge and skills essential for full participation in society. 

PISA is the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment. PISA measures 15-year-olds’ ability to use their reading, mathematics, and science knowledge and skills to meet real-life challenges.

What PISA assesses

  • Mathematical Literacy
  • Problem Solving
  • Reading Literacy
  • Scientific Literacy 

Link to the OECD website of PISA