Canada: third best for universities

Universitas 21 releases first world ranking


Photo by Ian Barrett for Maclean’s

Researchers have created what they say is the first ranking of countries from best to worst at providing higher education. The report is from Universitas 21, a network of research-intensive universities whose Canadian members are McGill and the University of British Columbia.

The ranking followed a detailed examination of 48 countries using 20 metrics, including both input and output measures (see below). Each nation’s score is a percentage of the winner’s score, which was automatically 100. Here are the top 20:

1. United States (100)
2. Sweden (84)
3. Canada (83)
4. Finland (82)
5. Denmark (81)
6. Switzerland (80)
7. Norway (78)
8. Australia (78)
9. Netherlands (77)
10. United Kingdom (77)
11. Singapore (75)
12. Austria (74)
13. Belgium (74)
14. New Zealand (73)
15. France (71)
16. Ireland (70)
17. Germany (69)
18. Hong Kong (67)
19. Israel (66)
20. Japan (64)

Universitas 21 explains their methodology this way:

Research authors at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne, looked at the most recent data from 48 countries and territories across 20 different measures, grouped under four headings: resources (investment by government and private sector), output (research and its impact, as well as the production of an educated workforce which meets labour market needs), connectivity (international networks and collaboration which protects a system against insularity) and environment (government policy and regulation, diversity and participation opportunities). Population size is accounted for in the calculations.

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Canada: third best for universities

  1. there is no way that is accurately done….Japan has some of the smartest people in the world same with Israel and the USA got the highest stats how?? How did they beat Sweden….the Swiss produce the best medicine….is it because USA has such odd degrees…I really don’t get it….you need to provide more information on where you got this Intel….

    • Well, most of the top students in Japan and especially Israel probably study in the United States. Same with pretty much everywhere else. Regardless of whether a country-by-country evaluation is useful or not, I don’t think there’s much doubt that the bulk of the top 10 or top 25 universities in the world are located in the United States.

      Look at what they’re evaluating, too. Japanese universities probably take a beating in connectivity, for example, since Japan tends to have a much more insular culture, and it would not be at all surprising if that this is shared by their universities. Certainly in terms of funding and raw research output, the United States dominates the landscape (eg. it’s a rare year when the United States gets less than 80% of the Nobel prizes, and it is not uncommon for them to sweep the lot).

  2. Of course, any survey that places the USA higher than Canada will rankle our Canadian superiority complex.

  3. Canada? Third? Psfff.

  4. Not accurate.

  5. Sweden = Swedish, Switzerland = Swiss… You’re making me doubt we should have ever gotten third.