Measure 1: Resources

How ‘Resources’ were measured and the results the 2014 study produced.

A necessary condition for a well performing higher education system is that it is adequately resourced, whether by government or the private sector. One measure is expenditure of tertiary institutions as a share of GDP. However, for low income countries, especially those with a high student-age population, a high share of GDP may not translate into high expenditure per student, so we also include the latter. In the absence of quality of teaching measures that are comparable across countries, resources per student in part serve as a proxy. In order to measure the contribution of tertiary education to a nation’s research effort we also include measures of expenditure on R&D in tertiary institutions. Consequently our five measures of Resources with weights are:

• R1: (5%) - Government expenditure on tertiary education institutions as a percentage of GDP, 2010.
• R2: (5%) - Total expenditure on tertiary education institutions as a percentage of GDP, 2010.
• R3: (5%) - Annual expenditure per student (full-time equivalent) by tertiary education institutions in USDpurchasing power prices, 2010.
• R4: (2.5%) - Expenditure in tertiary education institutions for research and development as a percentage of GDP, 2011.
• R5: (2.5%) - Expenditure in tertiary education institutions for research and development per head of population at USD purchasing power prices, 2011.

The highest ranked countries for resources in the 2014 rankings are Denmark, Canada, Sweden, the United States and Finland, in that order. Norway has risen from 10th in 2013 to sixth following a restoration of its government expenditure to GDP ratio. Compared with 2013, the biggest changes have been a fall of five places in four countries: Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary and the Russian Federation. In each case, the fall has been driven by a fall in government expenditure as a share of GDP. The United Kingdom has risen six places to a still low 42nd on government expenditure.

Resources per student are highest in the United States, Singapore and Canada. Denmark and Sweden rank highest for research expenditure in tertiary institutions.