Science, discussed.

Quality vs Quantity in European Universities

Just a quick note inspired by the World University Rankings 2014-15 published by The Times Higher Education. And restricted to European Countries.

To get a better picture of how different Countries impact teaching and research at university level, I’ve plotted both the absolute number of universities that show up in the top 400 of the ranking, and an approximation of the Country’s contribution to the ranking (in the form of the sum of the reciprocal of the rank of each university).


(data from here, raw date on google docs)

It’s a very superficial analysis, and it only shows the correlation between the to factors. Whether this is the result of a strategic choice (allowing most to attend university penalising quality versus few highly specialised research excellent universities) or of bad use of the available resources, I’ll leave it to more qualified voices to discuss.


About Pietro Gatti

Interested in discussing (good) Science Lover of coffee & good films. Ideas all & only my own.

2 comments on “Quality vs Quantity in European Universities

  1. Tobias Sikosek

    Thanks Pietro!
    So in other words: the UK is the only country in Europe that provides lots of ok-ish universities AND some of the very top ones. Is there any catch? How affordable is the education there?
    Would also be interesting to see what the relative count would look like (number of Top400 universities / population of country).

    • @p_gl

      Sort of. My ‘weighting’ method is very simple.
      Yes, I thought about comparing to population (and research spending) and might get to that at some stage. Also, other continents might show interesting differences.

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