Friday, May 18, 2012

Comparing countries through their universities

Comparing universities is hard enough, and it's harder if they are in different countries, so imagine the caveats that must accompany the attempt by Universitas 21 to create a ranking of national systems of higher education.

But it would be boring to start there, so here's their ranking:

1 United  States
 2 Sweden
 3 Canada
 4 Finland
 5 Denmark
 6 Switzerland
 7 Norway
 8 Australia
 9 Netherlands
 10 United  Kingdom
 11 Singapore
 12 Austria
 13 Belgium
 14 New Zealand
 15 France
 16 Ireland
 17 Germany
 18 Hong Kong SAR
 19 Israel
 20 Japan
 21 Taiwan
 22 Korea
 23 Portugal
 24 Spain
 25 Ukraine
There are of course lots of ways to parse the data, here are some:

"Government funding of higher education as a percentage of GDP is highest in Finland, Norway and Denmark, but when private expenditure is added in, funding is highest in the United States, Korea, Canada and Chile. Investment in Research and Development is highest in Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland. The United States dominates the total output of research journal articles, but Sweden is the biggest producer of articles per head of population. The nations whose research has the greatest impact are Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United States, United Kingdom and Denmark. While the United States and United Kingdom have the world's top institutions in rankings, the depth of world class higher education institutions per head of population is best in Switzerland, Sweden, Israel and Denmark.

"The highest participation rates in higher education are in Korea, Finland, Greece, the United States, Canada and Slovenia. The countries with the largest proportion of workers with a higher level education are Russia, Canada, Israel, United States, Ukraine, Taiwan and Australia. Finland, Denmark, Singapore, Norway and Japan have the highest ratio of researchers in the economy.

"International students form the highest proportions of total student numbers in Australia, Singapore, Austria, United Kingdom and Switzerland. International research collaboration is most prominent in Indonesia, Switzerland, Hong Kong SAR, Denmark, Belgium and Austria. China, India, Japan and the United States rank in the bottom 25 percent of countries for international research collaboration. In all but eight countries at least 50 percent of students were female, the lowest being in India and Korea. In only five countries were there at least 50 percent female staff; the lowest being in Japan and Iran."

Here are some of my earlier posts on universities.

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