The Dutch university education system was ranked as the seventh best in the world and rated most favourable environment for higher education providers, according to the 2013 Universitas 21 Ranking of Higher Education Systems published this week.
The ranking measures which countries provide the “best” higher education, focusing especially on desirable attributes including resources, environment, connectivity, and output.
Overall, the top five countries in the 2013 rankings are: USA (unchanged since 2012), Sweden (unchanged since 2012), Switzerland (6th in 2012), Canada (3rd in 2012) and Denmark (unchanged at number 5). The largest changes in the rankings occurred as a result of improved measures becoming available for a number of non-OECD countries. The largest increase occurs for Malaysia which improves nine places to 27th.
Higher education institutions in Sweden and the Netherlands have the most extensive open access website material but US institutions dominate the extent to which external agents access information on websites.
The Universitas 21 ranking is the only ranking in the world to benchmark national higher education systems, a crucial measure for governments whose nation’s economic development depends upon an educated and skilled workforce and technological improvements, based on research, that raise productivity.
Universitas 21 is a global network of leading research universities. Research authors at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne, looked at data from 50 countries across 22 different measures. The range of measures is grouped under four headings: resources (investment by government and private sector), output (research performance as well as the production of an educated workforce which meets labour market needs), connectivity (international networks and collaborations which now include web-based measures) and environment (government policy and regulation, diversity and participation opportunities). Population size is also taken into account.
The ranking, carried out and developed by Universitas 21, an international network of universities, and measures the higher education systems of 50 countries around the globe. It aims to provide a high-quality experience for students and help institutions compete for overseas applicants.