Is There a Relationship Between University Excellence and Country Income?

slide1By Arabia Higher Ed Staff

In an attempt to relate university excellence to country income, Times Higher Education analyzed gross domestic product (GDP) per capita for each country against the average World University Rankings score of the ranked universities in that country.

One obvious conclusion was the higher the GDP of a country, the higher the average ranking score.

The study also observed that Kuwait, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, seem to underperform compared to what one would expect based solely on GDP. 

Other conclusions:

  1. Hong Kong and the Netherlands, and Singapore are doing far better than their GDP alone would suggest while the Gulf states see high expenditure for relatively low scores.
  2. The linear relationship between spending and performance is obvious in Europe. The Netherlands is the star performer.
  3. Singapore is clearly investing hugely in its star universities.
  4. Japan is probably being affected by its declining student population. 
  5. The US’ and Canada’s systems are so similar in many ways but  the hugely higher spending in the US is not justified by its modestly better performance.

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