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The Universitas 21 Ranking is the only one in the world to assess national higher education systems, and meets a longstanding need to shift discussion from the ranking of the world’s best universities, to the best overall systems in each country. 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.
The first Ranking report was published in May 2012, with a second following in May 2013. The results of the third annual Universitas 21 Ranking were announced on 15 May 2014. The 2014 report includes the same 50 countries as in the 2013 report, which have again been ranked separately in four areas (Resources, Environment, Connectivity and Output) and overall. The research authors, based at the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne, looked at 24 measures across these four areas, allowing them to create a very detailed picture of the higher education system in each country. New for 2014, this data has also been compared against the values expected at each country’s level of economic development, to create a second and separate set of ranking results.
The 2014 Universitas 21 ranking of national systems retains the methodology of the 2013 rankings, but the Connectivity component has been extended by including measures of interaction with business and industry.