AUSTRALIA remains one of the top 10 countries for university education, according to a report released recently, which assesses countries, and not individual institutions, as part of its process, China's Xinhua news agency reported.
The annual Universitas 21 (U21) report lead author, Prof Ross Williams of the University of Melbourne told Xinhua that the report is a combination of official OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) data, it is far more effective in assessing the tertiary education systems in countries.
“The university systems should be wider than the elite research institutions, particularly for developing countries, and in those countries, it is just as important that things like technical training, are encouraged,” Prof Williams said.
“The motivation is to get away from the distortions of ranking institutions.” There were some countries that have managed to show significant improvement in their rankings over the past six years, with Australia, Croatia and Denmark rising four places, and China edging five places higher.
The rankings are based on assessing 25 different measures across four key areas: resources, output, connectivity and environment, with Australia able to maintain high grades in the most of the key performance indicators.
Prof Bairbre Redmond, the provost of U21 said: “The rankings show further enhancement in the approach to data collection and analysis, allowing countries to benchmark performance over a range of attributes.”
The rankings system, is now in its sixth year. “Australia remains a premier location for Chinese international students.
“Australia comes in at number 10, and if you think of particularly English-speaking countries, it is up there, and certainly Australia has depth in its universities,” Prof Williams said.
There has been a significant improvement in Australian output and activity in the last five to six years, and there has been a strengthening in the middle tier universities, as well as the best ones continuing to perform. The professor said he hopes there will be more globalisation of universities, particularly in the field of collaboration, and identified this as an area that Australia could explore even further. — Bernama