College rankings: Which countries have the best education systems?

A new higher education ranking focuses on evaluating quality by countries as a whole, rather than specific academic institutions. Here are some of the findings:

Ranked last, No. 48 India

This BRIC emerging economy ranked last for overall higher education in Universitas 21’s 2012 list, edged out by Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey, Croatia, and Mexico.
India is one of the most populous countries in the world, and to accommodate the estimated 600 million Indians currently under the age of 25 who are expected to enter the education system in the next 10 years, the country is in need of some 51,000 colleges and universities; and fast, according to this Monitor report.  
The need for more institutions surely plays a role in India’s ranking, but work is also needed in areas such as government and private investment per student (resources), a curriculum that meets the economic needs of the country (environment), proportion of international students studying in India (connectivity), and articles produced or research published at universities (output) in India. India ranked in the bottom four for all four indicators considered for the overall countrywide higher education ranking.
India was second-to-last in terms of resources, registering just seven points higher than dead-last Indonesia, and in terms of connectivity, environment, and output, India came in fourth-to-last place for all three indicators.
The report does note, however, that “more work is required on how to rate higher education systems in countries with very large populations,” like China (which ranked 39th overall) and India.

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