The ranking measures which countries provide the “best” higher education, focusing especially on desirable attributes including resources, environment, connectivity, and output.
The list was topped by the US for the second year in a row, with Sweden’s second place also a repeat performance from 2012. The Nordic nation was closely followed by Switzerland, Canada, and Denmark.
The ranking, carried out and developed by Universitas 21, an international network of universities, and measures the higher education systems of 50 countries around the globe. It aims to provide a high-quality experience for students and help institutions compete for overseas applicants.
Despite finishing second overall in the rankings, Sweden’s results in each category were not as strong. The country finished third in the resources ranking, tenth in environment, fourth in connectivity, and fourth in output.
Sweden’s neighbours also performed well in the ranking, with Denmark finishing fifth, Finland sixth, and Norway twelfth.
The report did not include any measurements of teaching quality, something Universitas 21 labelled a major omission and admitted was too difficult to measure.