A Different Kind of Ranking

The new U21 systems ranking.

Following on from last year’s first iteration, U21 has now published its 2013 Rankings report, which is intended to give an overview and ranking of higher education systems across the world. The full report gives much more information about the rankings but in summary:

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.

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The 2013 Rankings report retains the methodology of the 2012 Rankings. 22 desirable attributes are grouped under four broad headings: Resources, Environment, Connectivity and Output.

The country coverage has been extended to 50 by the inclusion of Saudi Arabia and Serbia. Data quality has improved significantly since 2012, in some cases occasioned by publicity arising from the inaugural Rankings – thus meeting the hope we expressed a year ago.

The top 20 is as follows. As you would expect it is fairly stable with little change since 2012:

1 United States 100.0
2 Sweden 85.2
3 Switzerland 81.6
4 Canada 80.0
5 Denmark 79.8
6 Finland 79.4
7 Netherlands 78.2
8 Australia 77.2
9 Singapore 76.6
10 United Kingdom 74.9
11 Austria 71.8
11 Norway 71.8
13 Belgium 71.0
14 New Zealand 69.7
15 Germany 68.2
16 Hong Kong SAR 67.6
16 France 67.6
18 Ireland 66.8
19 Israel 63.8
20 Spain 60.5

The top 10 countries are the same as in the 2012 Rankings except that Singapore replaces Norway which falls to 12th. The largest changes further down the table largely reflect the acquisition of better data: Malaysia rising from 36th to 27th and Ukraine falling from 25th to 36th.

It remains a distinctive and interesting approach to ranking.

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2 thoughts on “A Different Kind of Ranking

  1. Germany is an interesting case. Cynics might use this, and the well known problems with the German HE system, to question the common assumption that a high-performing economy and a well functioning liberal democracy necessarily requires a world leading HE system. But that would be far too simplistic an analysis.

  2. Distinctive, interesting and completely arbitrary – especially from someone (not you) who is normally so picky about rankings.

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