U21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems 2019

U21 has published its eighth annual ranking of national systems of higher education, a unique report produced under the leadership of Professor Ross Williams at the University of Melbourne.  

U21 Ranking 2019

The national ranking of systems reflects the aims of higher education. These include the education and training of a nation’s people, contributing to innovation through research, and facilitating interconnections between tertiary institutions and external stakeholders, both domestic and foreign.  

24 measures of performance grouped into four modules are used in the survey: Resources, Environment, Connectivity and Output examining a number of institutions within a nation.  The Rankings also presents a separate report on estimates of a country’s performance relative to its level of GDP per capita.    

The 2019 report also goes beyond presenting annual changes in performance, this year examining longer term changes by looking at key attributes over the seven-year period covered by the U21 rankings.  

Download the Full Report Data Comparison Tool

Professor Ross Williams explains the methodology and results of the U21 Ranking Report 2019:

2019 Overall Results Summary

An overall ranking is obtained by summing the module scores out of 100 using weights of 40 per cent on Output and 20 per cent on each of the other three modules. The top three countries, in order, are the United States, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The other seven countries that make up the top ten have scores within a narrow band of 80 to 83. In rank order these seven countries are Sweden, Denmark, Canada, Singapore, Australia, Finland and the Netherlands.

For two of these countries this year’s changes in rank have reversed the changes in last year’s ranking: Singapore (up two places) and Finland (down three places). But competition is tough at the top: the Netherlands has fallen four places even though its score has improved by 0.5.

2019 Adjusted Overall Results Summary

A subsidiary ranking compares how nations perform relative to countries at similar levels of GDP per capita.  The top ranked countries after allowing for income levels are the United Kingdom and Finland, where the scores imply an overall performance of 20 per cent above the average level of achievement for countries at their income levels. Next in rank order are Serbia, South Africa, Denmark and Canada.

Ranking for 24 Measures - raw data downloads

Original Raw DataData Adjusted for GDP