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Universitas 21, an international network of research universities including the University of Amsterdam, has presented a new ranking for international higher education. The Netherlands has secured ninth place in the Universitas 21 Ranking.

Universitas 21, an international network of research universities including the University of Amsterdam, has presented a new ranking for international higher education. The ranking does not consider individual universities but countries as a whole. The Netherlands has secured ninth place in the Universitas 21 Ranking.

The Universitas 21 Ranking is based on new research into national education systems. The research was conducted by scientists from the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research of the University of Melbourne. They looked at the most recent data from 48 countries on the basis of 20 different criteria. The top five ranked countries were: the United States, Sweden, Canada, Finland and Denmark. Universitas 21 (U21) developed the ranking as a benchmark for governments, education institutions and private individuals.

Jane Usherwood, Secretary General of Universitas 21, explains: ‘More transparency and clarity is needed around the comparative strengths and qualities of national education systems around the world in order to encourage knowledge-sharing, collaboration and development of opportunities for students in all countries. We hope the Universitas 21 Ranking will become an established point of reference for policy makers, education institutions and development bodies globally.’

The Netherlands secures top spot in the environment category

The twenty assessment criteria are grouped under four categories: environment, resources, output and connectivity. The environment category makes up 25% of the overall score. This category examines government policy and regulation, diversity and participation opportunities. The Netherlands came first in this category. The resources category, which focuses on investment by the government and the private sector, accounts for 25% of the total score. Dutch universities came ninth in this category. The output category which with 40% contributes the most towards the overall score, assesses research and its impact, as well as the production of an educated workforce which meets labour market needs. The Netherlands claimed tenth place in this category. The connectivity category assesses international networks and collaboration, accounting for 10% of the total score. The Netherlands came 20th in this category.

The ranking is based on data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) of the United Nations. Population size is accounted for in the calculations.

About Universitas 21

Universitas 21 (U21), established in 1997, is an international network of 24 leading research universities in fifteen countries. Its aim is to forge intensive collaborative links between institutions of higher education. The University of Amsterdam (UvA) is the only Dutch university to participate in U21. The UvA and Sweden’s Lund University are the only members from continental Europe.

Further information

For further information, please contact Tim Blanchard (communications on U21 Ranking), telephone + 44 1727 733881 / +44 7584 170881, or the UvA Press Office,, telephone: 020 525 2695 or persvoorlichting@uva.nl.