Universitas 21 ranking of national higher education systems

14 May 2014

Commenting on the Universitas 21 ranking of national higher education systems, Russell Group Director General Dr Wendy Piatt, said:

“The most striking finding of the Universitas 21 report is that the UK’s ranking for quality of output - 2nd place - is 19 places above its ranking for resources. 

“As the report’s authors highlight, the UK’s high ranking for output is achieved even though Government expenditure on higher education as a share of GDP is ranked 42nd. While this is strong evidence of the UK’s efficiency and productivity, this level of performance is unsustainable without increased, long-term investment in higher education and research. 

“UK public spending on higher education and research is comparable with that of Slovakia and Chile, far less than competitors like the US, China and most Western European countries. And while we currently punch above our weight, without more investment, the UK will struggle to compete in the future with other nations who have recognised the value of higher education and research in leading economic recovery and producing sustainable growth.”

Note to editors

  1. According to the OECD report Education at a Glance, the UK’s total investment in higher education is 1.4% of GDP: half that of the USA, and below the OECD average. UK public investment in higher education is 0.7% of GDP, below the OECD and EU 21 averages. Read more in the full report: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/education-at-a-glance-2013_eag-2013-en 


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