Nigeria is ranked 22nd in the Best Countries to Study Abroad index, according to a study tagged Best Countries. The 2018 edition of the ranking which covered 80 countries captures how countries are perceived on a global scale.
In its coverage, Best Countries defines countries in terms of a number of qualitative characteristics, impressions that have the potential to drive trade, travel and investment, and directly affect national economies.
The countries selected for the 2018 Best Countries rankings were determined based on their relevance across four benchmarks, viz; Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Human Development Index (HDI), foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and international tourism receipts or arrivals.
Those countries made the list of World Bank’s Top 100 countries in GDP (2014-2015), Top 150 countries in United Nation’s HDI (2014-2015), Top 100 in UN’s FDI inflows (2013-2014), and Top 100 countries in international tourism receipts or arrivals based on World Bank data (2013-2014).
EduCeleb.com gathered that the study and model used to score and rank countries were developed by Y&R’s BAV Group and Professor David Reibstein of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, in consultation with U.S. News & World Report.
The Best Countries index ranking has been annual since 2016. The study also covered 23 other rankings. Among these are Best Countries for Women, Best Countries to Raise Kids, Best Countries to Start a Career, Best Countries to Start a Business, Best Countries to Travel Alone, Most Forward-Looking Countries, Most Influential Countries and Most Transparent Countries. Then, there was the overall Best Countries ranking.
Groups of relevant country attribute data were used to score and rank countries for these lists, but they do not affect the overall Best Countries score or ranking.
In the top ten of the Best Countries to Study Abroad ranking are South Korea, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, China, Thailand, Argentina, Romania, Brazil, Tanzania, and Indonesia.
The Best Countries to Study Abroad is quite different from the Best Countries for Education ranking. The top five in education are the United Kingdom, the United States Canada, Germany, and France. Ironically, Nigeria ranked 75th in this.
Findings by EduCeleb.com shows that the rank 22 amongst the Best Countries to Study Abroad category is the only point where Nigeria faired quite well.
It is 78th in Best Countries for Green Living and Best Countries for Raising Kids, 76th in Best Countries for Women, 75th Best Countries for a Comfortable Retirement and 60th in Best Countries to Start a Business.
Furthermore, Nigeria ranked 79th in Most Transparent Countries, 55th in Most Influential Countries, 62nd in Most Forward-Looking Countries, and 71st in Best Countries to Travel Alone.
Within the subrankings, Nigeria didn’t fair well either. Details of the other rankings and subrankings by Best Countries is accessible here.
In top ten of the overall Best Countries index are Switzerland, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, Sweden, Australia, United States, France, and Netherlands. Nigeria shares the spot of the least overall with other countries at number 76.
Of the least Best Countries are Iran, Serbia, Angola and Algeria, which rank below Nigeria.
Close to these are Ghana, Belarus, Oman, Pakistan, and Lebanon which all ranked above Nigeria in the least ten of the overall Best Countries index.
Procedure for selecting Respondents in the study
21,117 respondents from across the world assessed how closely they associated an attribute with a nation. In selecting the respondents, the evaluators laid an emphasis on those who would deem the topic and findings most relevant to their lives.
Their demography was classifiable into three. These are informed elites, business decision-makers and general public.
The informed elites were college educated individuals who consider themselves middle class or higher and who read or watch the news at least four days a week. Business decision-makers were senior leaders in an organization or small business owners who employ others.
Those in the general public category were adults at least 18 years old who were nationally representative of their country in terms of age and gender.
Individuals with the above descriptions were targeted and sent the link to an online survey through Lightspeed GMI, a global market research and data collection firm.
The 21,117 were from 36 countries in four regions – the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East and Africa.
Of the respondents, 12,114 were informed elites and 6,016 were business decision-makers. Some respondents were considered both informed elites and business decision-makers.
Irrespective of demographics or participant type, each individual’s responses weighed equally in the results.
Method of establishing the rankings
In the process of establishing the rankings, 65 attributes through which a country could be described and that are also relevant to the success of a modern nation were identified.
Each country got scored on each of those attributes scored on each of the 65 country attributes based on the survey responses.
The more a country was perceived to exemplify a certain characteristic in relation to the average, the higher that country’s attribute score and vice versa. These scores were normalized to account for outliers and transformed into a scale that could be compared across the board.
Data Editor of U.S.A. News, Deidre McPhillips disclosed that the attributes were grouped into nine subrankings that rolled into the Best Countries ranking. These are Adventure, Citizenship, Cultural Influence, Entrepreneurship, Heritage, Movers, Open for Business, Power and Quality of Life.
Under Adventure, attributes listed included friendly, fun, pleasant climate, scenic, and sexy constituting 3.24% of entire ranking.
In terms of Citizenship which was 16.95 percent, attributes such as cares about human rights, cares about the environment, gender equality, progressive, religious freedom, respects property rights, trustworthy, and well-distributed political power were established.
12.93 percent of it was on Cultural Influence. The subject of attributes culturally significant in terms of entertainment, fashionable, happy, has an influential culture, modern, prestigious, trendy were examined.
At the level of Entrepreneurship, countries were examined on how much connected they were to the rest of the world, their educated population; and how entrepreneurial and innovative their citizens were. Also, the issues of how easy each provides access to capital, skilled labour force, technological expertise, transparent business
practices, well-developed infrastructure, and well-developed legal framework were evaluated. This subranking constituted 17.42%.
On Heritage subranking which was 3.17 percent, issues of how culturally accessible, how rich each’s history, how great its food was, and how many cultural attractions were taken into account.
Movers, which was 10%, considered attributes like different, distinctive, dynamic, and unique.
The subranking labelled Open for Business looked at attributes like bureaucratic, cheap manufacturing costs, corrupt, favorable tax environment, and transparent government practices. That was 11.99%.
Regarding Power, countries were evaluated in terms of which had a leader, and how economically influential, politically influential the individual was. Whether the country had strong international alliances and strong military was also a subject in the 7.42% part of the ranking.
In terms of Quality of Life, each country got evaluated on the attributes labelled a good job market, affordable, economically stable, family friendly, income equality, politically stable, safe, well-developed public education system, and well-developed public health system. That was 16.89.
Explaining further, Ms McPhillips said thus, “These thematic subrankings were formed by grouping country attributes that had similar global trends in survey responses. Subranking scores for each country were determined by averaging the scores that country received in each of the attributes comprising that subranking.”
To determine the weight each subranking score had in the overall Best Countries score, each was correlated to 2014 gross domestic product purchasing power parity per capita, a measure of inclusive prosperity, as reported by the International Monetary Fund. Subrankings that demonstrated a stronger relationship with the wealth metric were weighted more heavily, and all weights were standardized to total 100.”
The Movers subranking represents a version of BAV’s BrandAsset Valuator Model of Brand Building, a metric developed by BAV that is predictive of a country’s future growth in terms of gross domestic product purchasing power parity per capita. Instead of one year of data, it was correlated to predicted growth of the metric from 2014 to 2020.
The subranking weights do not add up to precisely 100.00 due to rounding.
Reliability of study
To ensure that the outcome of the study was reliable, respondents were given a random subset of countries and country attributes to consider.
The combinations were presented in a grid form where participants were prompted to check off the characteristics they associated with each country. If a participant indicated that they were not familiar with a country, it was removed from their survey.
Each participant considered about half of the country attributes for about a third of the countries. In this way, each attribute and country pair was reviewed at least 270 times by each of the three types of survey participants in each of the four regions. The more times an attribute-country pair was checked off in the grid, the higher the attribute score was for that country.
Equally, to considering countries in terms of attributes, each survey participant was asked to respond to a set of questions that gauge perceptions of the state of the world today on a variety of topics including the economy, politics, leadership and technology.
A set of standard demographic questions helped to screen for global diversity and equal weight among participant groups.