Dutch university education system ranked 7th globally

Dutch university education system ranked 7th globally

The Netherlands' higher education system has been ranked seventh in the world by Universitas 21, a global network of research universities.

The third annual ranking put the Dutch university system at seven for the second year in a row. The United States, Sweden and Canada are the top three for 2014.

Universitas 21 Ranking 2014

Universitas 21 ranked 50 countries using 24 appraisal criteria in four areas: resources, environment, connectivity and output.

The idea behind developing national rankings of higher education systems as a whole, rather than individual research universities, is that it is the former that affects the economic and cultural development of a nation.

"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 report states.

Dutch higher education scores highly

The Netherlands' highest score was in Environment (government policy and regulation, diversity and opportunities for participation), where it was ranked first.

The other three main rankings were nine for Output (of research, research impact and academically trained professionals), nine for Connectivity (international networks and collaboration) and 10 for Resources (investments by the government and the private sector).

In greater detail, it ranked 12th for total expenditure on education as a share of GDP and 9th for expenditure on students. It also ranked highly for joint publications and knowledge transfer with industry.

The Netherlands also performs strongly in research publications per head and their average impact. All in all, the scores for the Netherlands are above those expected at the country’s income level.

Dutch universities also do well in individual university ranking, such as the Times Higher Education ranking, which put eight universities in the top 100 worldwide.

Top 10 national higher education systems

1. United States of America 100
2. Sweden 86,7
3. Canada 82,9
4. Denmark 82,9
5. Finland 82,2
6. Switzerland 81,5
7. Netherlands 80,9
8. United Kingdom 79,2
9. Australia 78,0
10. Singapore 76,3

For more information, read the full report.

Alexandra Gowling


Alexandra Gowling

Alexandra is an Australian citizen and an experienced expat, having spent (quite a bit of) time in Asia before coming to the Netherlands a year ago. She enjoys writing, reading...

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