U21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems 2014

15 May 2014
Following on from the successful 2012 and 2013 projects, U21 has today published the 2014 Rankings report, which gives an overview of higher education systems across the world.

Now in its third year, the Universitas 21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems is the only one in the world to assess national higher education systems, and meets a longstanding need to shift discussion from the ranking of the world’s best universities, to the best overall systems in each country. U21 developed the Rankings as a benchmark for governments, education institutions and individuals, and the project aims to highlight the importance of creating a strong environment for higher education institutions to contribute to economic and cultural development, provide a high-quality experience for students, and help institutions compete for overseas applicants.

The 2014 Ranking includes the same 50 countries as in the 2013 report, which have again been ranked separately in four areas (Resources, Environment, Connectivity and Output) and overall. The research authors, based at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne, looked at 24 measures across these four areas, allowing them to create a very detailed picture of the higher education system in each country. New for 2014, this data has also been compared against the values expected at each country’s level of economic development, to create a second and separate set of ranking results. 

Top 10 Countries in the Main Ranking

Overall, the top 10 countries for 2014 are, in rank order: the United States, Sweden, Canada and Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Australia and Singapore.

Top 10 Countries in the Adjusted Ranking

In this new auxiliary ranking, countries are scored on how they perform on each of the 24 measures relative to countries at similar stages of economic development as measured by GDP per capita. Using this approach, the top 10 countries using the adjusted data are, in rank order: Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Serbia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, China, Portugal and the Netherlands.  
The full 2014 report can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

More information, including a breakdown of the results and a commentary on the various measures used in these rankings, can be found via the link below. The 2012 and 2013 reports are also available to download via this link.