I can only talk about the UK here - but I think the education system needs to get back to basics. The three 'R's' as they were called back in the neolithic age when I was at primary school. There is too much pressure on teachers and schools to 'perform' in league tables, rather than concentrating on educating the kids.
In addition to all this though, I would make it possible for many more students from poor backgrounds to be able to access higher education. There is a lot of young excellent minds and talent being wasted and missed because these youngsters can't afford to spend 'x' amount of years at college or university.