5 May 2017

NZ universities ranked seventh in the world

12:18 pm on 5 May 2017

New Zealand's university system has ranked seventh best in the world in the annual Universitas 21 league table, but only after allowing for the size of the economy.

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Adjusted for GDP per capita New Zealand was ranked seventh on the league table. Photo: 123rf

The ranking was based on factors including government spending, research, and the independence of universities to run their own affairs.

The raw ranking put New Zealand's eight universities in 15th place, with the United States first and Australia in tenth position.

But adjusted for GDP per capita, New Zealand rose to seventh with Serbia leading the table, followed by the United Kingdom and South Africa, while Australia retained tenth place.

The Universitas 21 league table is one of many ranking systems, but focuses on each country's overall higher education system rather than on individual institutions.

The Universitas 21 report said since 2013 New Zealand had fallen six places in the raw rankings largely because the number of tertiary-qualified adults had risen faster in other countries and overtaken New Zealand's score in that part of the measurement.

Ranking adjusted for GDP per capita

1 Serbia

2 United Kingdom

3 South Africa

4 Denmark

5 Sweden

6 Finland

7 New Zealand

8 Portugal

9 Israel

10 Australia

Unadjusted ranking

1 United States

2 Switzerland

3 United Kingdom

4 Denmark

5 Sweden

6 Singapore

7 Canada

8 Netherlands

9 Finland

10 Australia

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