Today, there are many sources that analyse and evaluate the performance of education systems around the world. And while higher education and universities are often under the brightest spotlight, with sources such as Times Higher Education´s World University Rankings and QS Top Universities bringing out related data each year, we are up to the challenge of expanding that focus.
In this article, we would like to present you with a ranking of the ten best education systems, worldwide, based on information provided by U.S. News & World Report. Through a combination of scores based on the level of development of a public education system, the people´s willingness to attend university and the opportunity to receive top-quality tuition, the team behind the list below managed to rank a set of countries from Australia, Europe and North America. To make things more interesting, we have included a comparison of the latest 2020 results with the previous from 2019, with the sole aim of determining some differences while searching for explanations:
Top 10 Best Countries for Education
|The United States
|The United Kingdom
|The United Kingdom
|The United States
*according to data from U.S. News & World Report
Right at the top, we can see that the US has passed the UK to claim the top position, highlighting a trend that we commented on in our recently updated article Best universities in Europe 2020. Affected by a difficult political situation, several higher education institutions from the United Kingdom suffered from a drop in their latest rankings this year. However, while we never mentioned anything about the United States in that text due to the European focus, here we can say that even more American universities saw their ranks going in the wrong direction for similar reasons, and in both cases following a reduced number of international students.
Perhaps, the fact that the results from the table above are based on education systems as a whole has helped the USA with reaching pole position, while for number three, four and five no surprises seem to have come up. Immediately after that, we witness an overtake from Switzerland followed by a rank-up by the Netherlands, Japan´s exit from the 2020 list and the arrival of Denmark.
In the area of higher education, the strong presence of European destinations – with the total rising to seven countries this year, can be explained with the current opportunities offered by their public systems. In Denmark, Germany and Sweden you can study a variety of programmes, including many in English, free of charge, given that you are coming from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, or any other third country at German state universities! There is often a student union fee applied, however, that can be best described to minor when opposed to tuition fee – usually coming with the benefit of accounting for different discounts.
Furthermore, higher education institutions in Europe take up excellent ranking positions, globally. A fact which is also confirmed by the two respected sources we mentioned in the introduction, Times Higher Education´s World University Rankings and QS Top Universities. Notably, the former lists six of the seven European countries starring in this article in the elite group of the Top 60 of the world, with only Denmark missing out a place. Even more, each country is also represented by one or more public universities!
And before you start thinking that Australia, Canada and the United States have not received the attention they deserve, here is some food for thought regarding, once again, their respective higher education systems. From last to first, the US is home to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, which has now been holding the #1 spot for the eighth time in a row in the rankings of QS Top Universities. Despite the on-going difficult political situation, the United States of America has actually constantly remained a strong competitor within the global top.
Recently, Canada, by contrast, had representatives advance a few positions according to THE´s World University Rankings, with a total of 30 listed universities, including the best performing University of Toronto ranked #18. Finally, Australia registered increasing levels of internationality as stated by QS, with five Australian higher education institutions holding excellent positions in the Top 50 for 2020.
As a conclusion, it would be interesting to see whether any changes take place in 2021 in the top ten countries with the best education systems in the world – mostly related to the expansion of competitors from Asia, mostly Mainland China, and also South America with Brazil.
P.S. If you found one of the related MASTER AND MORE country-based guides linked in the table above helpful, then perhaps you could also benefit from further details and information with their capitals: