Measure 3: Connectivity

How ‘Connectivity’ was measured and the results the study produced.


The worth of a national higher education system is enhanced if it is well connected with the rest of the nation’s society and is linked internationally in education and research.  High connectivity provides two measures of the worth of a nation’s higher education system: it is an indicator of the quality of teaching and research and it is an indicator of absorption of new discoveries and ideas. 


Measures of domestic connectivity would include the proportion of science and engineering articles co-authored with industry, and higher education expenditure accounted for by private entities other than households.   Unfortunately data in these areas exist only for a limited number of countries and we were unable to include the measures.            


We are thus limited to international measures of connectivity, although even here data are not widely available on one desirable measure, namely, the proportion of foreign students in advanced research programs 


The two measures for which we have data are:


  • C1:  Proportion of international students in tertiary education, 2009
  • C2: Proportion of articles co-authored with international collaborators, 2005-2009.  The data are a weighted average for each country where the weights are the proportion of output from each higher education institution. 




International student enrolments as a percentage of total enrolments are highest in Australia, Singapore and Austria.   International enrolments are also relatively important in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and New Zealand.  Researchers are most linked internationally, as measured by joint publications with a foreign author, in Indonesia and Switzerland.  International collaboration is also high in Denmark, Belgium, Austria and Sweden.  The United States, Korea and Japan are in the bottom quartile for research collaboration, in part reflecting the existence of a critical mass within the national research community.  Averaging the two measures to obtain an overall measure of Connectivity, Austria is ranked first followed by Singapore, Switzerland and Australia.