This is according to Universitas 21, the international network of research universities, who commissioned the project.
One of the factors boosting a country’s ranking was whether its universities have a high proportion of international students, such as at Wittenborg University which boasts more than 40 different nationalities.
Unlike other rankings systems this one, driven by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research in Australia, does not measure universities individually but rather look at the higher education system as a whole in the country where it is located.
Now in its 3rd year, the project aims to “meet a longstanding need to shift discussion from the ranking of the world’s best universities, to the best overall systems in each country” says a statement released by Universitas 21 the past week.
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 as well as the overall quality of the system. However, the most weight is attached to output.
The Netherlands is ranked top when it comes to a good regulatory environment - which is important to make sure resources are efficiently used. For instance, excessive regulation of employment conditions will limit the contribution of academics and the capacity to attract globally-competitive talent.
The Netherlands is ranked 10th when it comes to sufficient resources - deemed a necessary condition if institutes of higher education are to perform well, the report has found.
The country is 9th when it comes to connectivity.
“The worth of a national higher education system is enhanced if it is well connected with the rest of the nation’s society, and is linked internationally in education and research. High connectivity provides two measures of the worth of a nation’s higher education system: it is an indicator of the quality of teaching and research, and it is an indicator of absorption of new discoveries and ideas,” the report reads.
Not surprisingly, Russia and the Ukraine were among the countries where connectivity has fallen the most.
Regarding output - which according to the researchers carries the most weight in the success of a national higher education system - the Netherlands was also in 9th place.
“A good higher education system provides the nation with a well-trained and educated workforce that meets the country’s needs, provides a range of educational opportunities for people with different interests and skills, and contributes to national and world knowledge,” the researchers concluded.
Factors taken into consideration included the total number of articles produced by institutes of higher education, enrollments in tertiary institutes as a percentage of the eligible population, number of researchers per head of population and unemployment rate among the tertiary educated between the ages of 25-64 years.
“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.”
Source: Sorry, (universitas.com) does not exist anylonger.
by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press