Australian universities have retained their overall ranking at eight position in the second annual Universitas 21 (U21) assessment, which compares and ranks higher education systems in 50 countries.

U21’s report also found that both Australian and Singaporean universities have the highest rate of international students enrolled.

University of Queensland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Peter Høj, said that the nation’s universities had earned recognition for connectivity, ranking second in the world behind Switzerland.

“Our higher education community has forged research alliances, shared knowledge and learnt from the world's best,” Professor Høj said. 

“Australia's universities have strong links with industry, business, government and their peers around the world. This underpins the quality and value of our research and teaching. 

“Our graduates, academics and researchers are in strong demand globally.” 

The top 10 countries in U21's 2013 overall rankings, and their position last year, are: 

  1. USA (unchanged) 
  2. Sweden (unchanged) 
  3. Switzerland (6th in 2012) 
  4. Canada (3rd in 2012) 
  5. Denmark (unchanged). 
  6. Finland (4th in 2012) 
  7. Netherlands (9th in 2012) 
  8. Australia (unchanged) 
  9. Singapore (11th in 2012) 
  10. United Kingdom (unchanged) 

The full report can be found here