Emerging Indices


To complement our research Emerging produces and publishes  each year a range of indices

We have been producing a global university ranking since 2011. It is unique and complements the other main rankings as it is based exclusively on a poll of around 8000 recruiters and international managers in 22 countries.

Every year we  have had extensive press coverage around the world and after a while we noticed that around 90%  of the published features were centered around the number of universities from the country of the media and the leading countries in terms of number of universities placed in the top 150.


So in order to provide them with the information we produced along with the ranking, a table with the number of universities present by country ( see country university numbers in the ranking time series report ) and showed its evolution in each edition for the last 9 years.


The Country Scoring Index


Counting solely the number of universities from each country present in the ranking doesn’t fully reflect the respective strength of the different university systems as it doesn’t take into account the respective placings of universities. This means that a country can place 7 institutions in the rankings but all of them between the 130 and 150 whilst another can place only 4  but all of them in the top 50  and perhaps one could  analyse the latter’s performance as superior  despite the fact that it placed less  universities in the top  than the former.

This is why we decided to develop a country scoring system where each countries scored points based not only on the number of their universities but also on their respective placings.  ( cf. country scoring tables in the ranking time series report )


Thus although  the usual suspects appeared yet again in the league ( US, UK …)  this system also allowed to highlight the performance of other leading nations ( Germany, France, China, …)

Country scores for 2018 and 2019



The Higher Education Performance Country Index

But when we saw countries with relatively small population  like Switzerland , Sweden or Canada  also do very well in the country scoring tables , we became interested in trying to find out what were the most efficient systems at least in terms of the  job market .  In short what were the systems that produced the best ready to work  graduates.

We decided thus to create an annual index: the Higher Education Performance Country Index  which would take into account the country performance ( as illustrated in the country scoring table ) and measure it in the light of the number of establishments and the student population.

For example if the US is the leading country in the country scoring table, it also has a much greater number of institutions and students than any other country  ( with the exception of China) and this  obviously creates a bias if you want to compare the merits and the performance of their system with that of a country with a much smaller population, let’s say the Netherlands. But if you weigh the country score with its number of students in higher education  you can correct this bias and obtain an index which reflects much more accurately the performance at least regarding employability of the leading countries in terms of Higher Education.

Thus countries like the US but even more so China do not do as well as countries like Switzerland – our overall leader of the index by far, Germany or Canada. This is due to their much vaster (particularly in the case of China) number of students in comparison with those countries.

The fact that a small country like Switzerland with a very limited number of universities and HE students places regularly 5 to 7 institutions in the top 150 gives a clear indication that in terms of performance it must be doing something better than the others including the US or the UK which usually dominate the different world rankings.


This index is based on our employability ranking but we could also integrate in the index, the results  of some of the other leading global rankings to include the different perspectives from which to evaluate HE performance.


Our first index for 2018 revealed that countries which tend to have a very vocational approach in their curriculum (like Switzerland or Germany) or have established close cooperation between universities and the corporate world (like the Netherlands) tend to do better in the HE country performance index than some countries that appeared to  dominate traditionally the global rankings like the US and the UK.


The 2020 HE Education Performance Index based on our own rankings but also on all major other rankings will be published in January 2020

The Return on HE Investment Index


This index measures the return on investment for HE based on the country’s scoring performance , its number of institutions and students as well as the  mean investment cost per student per year  based on our own data and data from the OECD.


The 2020 ROI HE Investment Index will be published in February 2020.

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