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Denmark tops global ranking for higher education

Denmark is the 5th best country in the world at providing higher education, according to Universitas 21 - a leading global network of research universities

Universitas 21 has released their 2012 rankings of countries which are the 'best' at providing higher education. The top five are the USA, Sweden, Canada, Finland and Denmark (see full rankings).

Measuring points

The U21 Rankings of National Higher Education Systems 2012 is based on the following measuring points

  • resources (investment by government and private sector)*
  • output (research and its impact, as well as an educated workforce to meet labour market needs)
  • connectivity (international networks and collaboration which protects a system against insularity)
  • environment (government policy and regulation, diversity and participation opportunities)

*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 depht of world class higher education institutions

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.

Lead author, Professor Ross Williams at the University of Melbourne, says that in a globalised world a strong higher education system is essential if a nation is to be economically competitive and attract international talent:

- While there are a number of well-regarded global rankings of individual institutions, these don't shed any light on the broader picture of how well a nation's system educates its students, the environment it provides for encouraging and supporting excellence. Students choose countries to study in as much as individual institutions, and the Universitas 21 Ranking offers clear data to support decision-making".

Universitas 21 is an international research network of 24 universities and colleges. Its membership works together to encourage international mobility and engagement between staff and students.