Rankings which assess the quality and accessibility of higher education in countries across the world, have been published today by QS Quacquarelli Symonds. Fifty countries across six continents have been represented, with researchers looking at access, system strength and a country's top performing institution to compile the tables.
Here are the top 10.
1. United States
Coming top of the table is the United States, with 30 universities in the top 100, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) taking top spot overall. According to QS, the US set the benchmark for all four criteria used to rank countries, including access, system strength, flagship and economy.
2. United Kingdom
Ranking in second place for higher education, the UK has 18 universities in the top 100 world institutions, with the highest, the University of Cambridge, ranking in third place. The University of Oxford (6), University College London (7) and Imperial College London (8) also feature in the top 10.
While only four German institutions make it into the top 100 universities in the world, with the highest ranked Technische Universität München only scoring 60th place, the fee system in Germany certainly makes it a desirable place to study for students. In 2014, the last of Germany's states abolished tuition fees, meaning that now all students can access education for free - aside from a small admin fee and living costs.
With seven universities in the top 100 world university rankings, it's unsurprising that Australia makes the top five in this list. Only the US and the UK have more universities in the top 100. The highest ranked university, The Australian National University, comes in in 19th place overall, and scores particularly highly for academic reputation and international faculty.
With three universities in the top 50 world rankings, Canada makes it into the top five countries for higher education, according to QS. McGill University ranks in 24th, while the University of Toronto features in 34th and the University of British Columbia scrapes into the top 50. Canada can often prove a cheaper alternative to US study and involves a simpler application process.
France's capital, Paris, was last year named the top city in the world to be a student with both the Ecole normale supérieure, Paris and the Ecole Polytechnique situated in or near the city. The former places an impressive 23rd in the overall rankings, while the Ecole Polytechnique ranks 40th.
The Netherlands has five universities in the top 100 institutions in the world, according to OS, the highest ranked of which is the University of Amsterdam in 55th. Maastricht University (pictured) while only ranking 169th in the world, achieves eighth place in the Top 50 under 50 years of age table. The institution is popular with international students with nearly half of all undergraduate programmes offered in English.
Tsinghua University is one of China's most renowned higher education institutions and is situated in the north-west of Beijing in the former imperial gardens of the Qing Dynasty. The institution is the highest ranked university in China, scoring 25th overall. Peking University, in 41st position, is the country's other top 50 university.
9. South Korea
Similar to Japan, South Korea has two universities in the top 50 world institutions, with its top ranked Seoul National University coming in in 36th. KAIST, Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, positions 43rd, with the capital city, Seoul, coming 10th in the student city rankings.
With two universities in the top 50 institutions in the world, according to QS, Japan takes tenth place in the rankings. Kyoto University and the University of Tokyo take 38th and 39th place respectively. The capital city, Tokyo, was also ranked as the third best city in the world for students, with a low student to general population ratio.
The list, compiled by QS Quacquarelli Symonds, represents a new attempt to use university rankings performance alongside other metrics to assess the strengths and weaknesses of a country’s higher education environment.
Countries with the best higher education systems: (score out of 100)
By doing so, QS said it aims to assist governmental bodies charged with improving their nation’s higher education system to benchmark against competitor countries.
America and the UK have the world’s strongest higher education systems as Continenal Europe catches up in this year’s Higher Education System Strength (HESS) rankings.
Three of the world’s top ten are Asian - China, South Korea, and Japan - as European countries emerge as the most-featured than any other continent, with 22 of its nations providing a top-50 university. - The Independent and The Telegraph
To view the full list of 50 Countries - QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings 2016
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