India’s higher education system has been ranked 48 out of as many countries and territories while the United States expectedly topped the list in a study by Universitas 21, a global network of research universities.
The U21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems lists countries ‘best’ at providing higher education. The parameters are divided into four categories: output (research and its impact, as well as the production of an educated workforce which meets labour market needs) - 40% weightage, resources (investment by government and private sector) - 25%, environment (government policy and regulation, diversity and participation opportunities) - 25% and connectivity (international networks and collaboration which protects a system against insularity) - 10%. The research also factored in population size.
After the US, overall, the top five countries “nominally” providing the ‘best’ tertiary-level education include Sweden, Canada, Finland and Denmark. “However, broken down into the smaller sections, it was interesting to see that the US, traditionally seen as a country with one of the strongest education systems, did not always hit the top spot. Government funding of higher education as a percentage of GDP is highest in Finland, Norway and Denmark. Taking private expenditure into account changed this significantly: on that measure funding is highest in the United States, South Korea, Canada and Chile, unsurprising, given the structure in these counties,” say the authors of the study carried out at the University of Melbourne.
For international research collaboration, China, India, Japan and the US are in the bottom 25% of countries.