Canada's Higher Education System Ranks High in Global Study: Canada's Higher Education System Ranks High

Article excerpt

TORONTO - Canada's places of higher learning have snagged the third spot in a global ranking of the top post-secondary education systems.

The United States made it to the top of the list of 48 countries, followed by Sweden. Finland, Denmark and Switzerland scored fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. India came in last.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Melbourne and was sponsored by Universitas 21, a global network of universities whose Canadian members are the University of British Columbia and McGill University.

A country's success was determined by things like the number of research articles published, the percentage of residents partaking in higher schooling and the national employment figures. Each country's population was also taken into account for the study.

"What is important is a policy and regulatory environment in which universities are given a good deal of internal freedom, but there are external quality checks," said lead investigator Ross Williams.

Universitas 21 said the ranking was created to show the importance of higher education in a country's economy and place in the world. Having a well-connected education system can foster new ideas and good trade relationships with other countries, the report said.

An Ontario student organization said the rankings reflect the perspectives of governments and universities more than those of students.

Sean Madden, president of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, said that while he's happy Canada did so well, he's a little concerned that our high ranking in the resources category may cause misperceptions.

"I'm a little concerned about the message being sent about resources," said Madden. …