On the matter of the highest education level, we will research which the countries with the highest percentage of college graduates in 2018 are. Taking tertiary education as the most prestigious one, we could also say that these are the most educated countries for 2018 as well.
As we know, the tertiary education is obtained in universities of course. The first universities as we know them today were established a long time ago, in the medieval times. Concerning Europe, these universities were: the University of Bologna (as the first university ever established in 1088), followed by universities in Paris and Oxford, founded in 1150 and 1167 respectively.
But there is one even older university, located in the historical town of Fez, Morocco. That is the University of Al-Karaouine, established in the 9th century, which still exists! Although nowadays it can only be attended by male Muslim people, it was founded by a woman. Nevertheless, many many years have passed until this university actually became a university in the modern sense – it was in 1947 when new fields of study were introduced (like chemistry, physics, and foreign languages), and the official name “University of Al-Karaouine” was obtained only in 1965.
In the 21st century, according to the World Bank, tertiary education encompasses all the post-secondary education which, apart from universities includes all sorts of colleges, vocational school, and other training institutes, being led by both private and public sectors. The number of tertiary education students is growing rapidly. It has become more accessible to wider range of the population in all parts of the world, having many universities and organizations offering to fund, especially for poor and developing countries. Anyway, we are here to see some facts about the countries with the highest percentage of college graduates.
We have based our research on the countries with the highest percentage of college graduates on the statistics that shows the percentage of a population with tertiary education degree diploma, instead of looking for some most educated countries in the world list. The data for first-time (meaning they are graduating for the first time with tertiary diploma) graduation rates in tertiary education (taken international students into account as well) was taken from the OECD’s report Education at a Glance 2017. We have also paid attention to the education quality, and we have provided that information as the following parameter as well. We have complemented this information with the statistics on gross graduation ration from first degree programs in tertiary education as provided by The World Bank, though this information comes from recent years.
The data on this was gathered from the World Economic Forum’s report on Global Competitiveness Rankings for 2017-2018, on the subcategory of Quality of Education System, with the highest score for education quality being 7. And having in mind education quality, you might be interested to find out which the Top 50 Most Educated Countries with the Best Education Systems in the World are.
Has the situation on the most educated countries changed (taking in mind college graduate rates) since some recent times, you can check out on 10 Countries with the Highest Percentage of College Graduates in the World.
This topic might not give the answer which country is the most educated country in the world, because the criteria which we take in mind on asking this question. In today’s list, as we have seen, we will get insight in those countries with the highest percentage of college graduates in 2018. So, let’s see which they are!
13. The Netherlands
Percentage of graduation rates in tertiary education: 49
Education quality ranking: 5.4/7
The University of Leiden surely sounds familiar to you. That is because this is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities that still exists. Apart from this one, there are many other quality universities in the Netherlands which offer an excellent education. That is why it is not a surprise that this is one of the countries with the highest percentage of college graduates in 2018 as well.