Universitas 21

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Universitas 21
TypeEducation and research
HeadquartersBirmingham, United Kingdom
Region served
Jenny Dixon
WebsiteU21 Universitas21

Universitas 21 (U21) is an international network of research-intensive universities.[1][2][3] Founded in Melbourne, Australia in 1997 with 11 members, it has grown to include twenty-nine member universities in nineteen countries and territories.[4][5]

The universities collaborate on student experience, researcher engagement and educational innovation. It offers various student competitions including the Three Minute Thesis (3MT), the U21/PwC Innovation Challenge and the RISE (Real Impact on Society and Environment) Showcase.

Since 2012, Universitas 21 has commissioned the "U21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems". Produced by researchers at the University of Melbourne, this ranking aims to show which countries create a "strong environment" that allows universities to contribute to growth, provide a high-quality student experience and help institutions compete globally.[6] It evaluates the standing of national higher education systems by providing rankings in four broad areas: resources, environment, connectivity and output. The rankings are then combined to provide an overall ranking.[7] The ranking is then adjusted by GDP per capita, which allows countries to be compared to others at a similar stage of economic development.[8] The 2013 study, which serves as the primary reference for the Universitas 21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems, reveals that countries with high output rankings generally demonstrate strong resource indicators. It further establishes a positive correlation between research output and government funding, specifically in research and development (R&D). [9]

Universitas 21 has Consultative Status with the Economic & Social Affairs Council (ECOSOC).[10]


Institution Country
University of Melbourne  Australia
University of New South Wales  Australia
University of Queensland  Australia
University of Sydney  Australia
KU Leuven  Belgium
McMaster University  Canada
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile  Chile
Shanghai Jiao Tong University  China
Fudan University  China
University of Hong Kong  Hong Kong
University of Delhi  India
Universitas Gadjah Mada  Indonesia
University College Dublin  Ireland
Waseda University  Japan
Tecnológico de Monterrey  Mexico
University of Amsterdam  Netherlands
University of Auckland  New Zealand
National University of Singapore  Singapore
University of Johannesburg  South Africa
Korea University  South Korea
Lund University  Sweden
University of Zurich   Switzerland
University of Birmingham  United Kingdom
University of Edinburgh  United Kingdom
University of Glasgow  United Kingdom
University of Nottingham  United Kingdom
University of California, Davis  United States
University of Connecticut  United States
University of Maryland, College Park  United States


U21Global was a for-profit university formed in June 2001 in Singapore as a joint venture between Universitas 21 and Thomson Learning (which later became Cengage Learning).

In late 2007, Cengage Learning sold its entire 50% in U21Global share to Mauritius-based Manipal Universal Learning International for an undisclosed sum.[11] In 2010, the Universitas 21 shareholding was diluted to 25 per cent, with only 10 universities continuing to hold equity.[12] The university now trades as GlobalNxt University and has no remaining connection with Universitas 21.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Universitas 21". www.universitas21.com. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Universitas 21 | Global Maryland, University of Maryland". globalmaryland.umd.edu. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  3. ^ "Universitas 21 | UNSW Current Students". student.unsw.edu.au. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  4. ^ "About Universitas 21". universitas21.com. Retrieved 8 October 2023.
  5. ^ "Member List". www.universitas21.com. Retrieved 8 October 2023.
  6. ^ "UK is 10th among best global environments for universities". 11 May 2012.
  7. ^ Williams et al. (2013), p.600.
  8. ^ "U21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems 2020| Universitas 21". universitas21.com. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  9. ^ Williams, Ross; de Rassenfosse, Gaétan; Jensen, Paul; Marginson, Simon (2013). "The determinants of quality national higher education systems". Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management. 35 (6): 599–611.
  10. ^ "UNITED NATIONS ECONOMIC and SOCIAL COUNCIL". www.un.org. Retrieved 1 November 2019.
  11. ^ Staff Writer (14 November 2007). "Manipal group buys 50% in online varsity". livemint. Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  12. ^ Trounson, Andrew (27 January 2010). "Manipal to Control U21Global". The Australian. Retrieved 18 September 2013.

External links[edit]