OECD Benchmarking Higher Education Systems

This comprehensive report focuses not on the performance of individual institutions, but on the performance of higher education systems. This approach allows important insights and comparisons that are not available to institutional level analyses.

First of all, it can consider graduate outcomes in a comparative way that speaks not to the individual success of the university and its graduates, but of the way in which higher education as a whole interacts with its surroundings, mapping skills gaps and graduate employment in a variety of sectors.

The study considers 45 main indicators of system functioning, focusing on teaching outcomes, research and the impact of higher education on the economy. It highlights that limited data gathering capabilities hinders further comparisons between systems, which remains an obstacle to more effective comparison.

The report also notes several shortcomings in indicator frameworks, most notably for community engagement, which is an increasing area of priority for which data have not kept pace. 

This report provides a structured way of comparing the functioning of higher education systems. Approaches such as this encourage universities to think and strategise together and cooperate for visions of the future, rather than competing with one another.

Access the report