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Global University Rankings  
User currently offlinedeltaownsall From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1173 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1923 times:

Times Higher Education has recently released its new "Global University Rankings" for 2010-11, based on what they claim is a new, more "objective" methodology. The list can be found here: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.u...ty-rankings/2010-2011/top-200.html

In my opinion, the list is certainly much more reasonable than the complete nonsense that QS puts out, but I believe either way that these new global ranking systems can actually be damaging to a number of the universities they attempt to measure.

It seems to me that there would be great incentive for a number of universities that are not necessarily well regarded domestically to attempt to grab more international notoriety and thus talent by manipulating their system to better fit the rankings methodology. I suppose the same might be true for universities that hail from a small country and may be well known domestically, but seek access to more talent from abroad to bolster their global standing. I'm only theorizing here, but regardless of where the cycle starts, it can eventually affect any number of other schools that wish to remain competitive. I do have some experience with a university fitting the second profile, and I was somewhat disappointed.

The problem is that the methodology is scarcely if at all focused on the actual student experience at these universities, rather it is hugely focused on overall output. And so, if an administration decides to make this ranking their springboard to global popularity, they might put even more pressure on their faculty to 'publish or perish'. I would imagine that this is a rather zero-sum situation: the more professors focus on research and publishing, the less personal attention/time they have for their students. There is also incentive to manipulate numbers in any number of ways regarding proportion of international students.

The result, as far as the rankings are concerned, is punitive against some very highly regarded universities like Dartmouth, Rice, Georgetown, and Brown (no slight to similar uni's outside of the U.S., I'm just more familiar with these schools), while it rewards some giant schools with much lower academic standards and considerably less resources per student.

I don't really mean to pick apart the individual rankings as much as I mean to draw attention to the fact that the incentive to bulk up on research-leaning professors (or international professors, regardless of quality, just for the sake of bolstering your international faculty score) may undermine what I would imagine is the primary purpose of universities: education. We could argue all day whether rankings are completely unnecessary/measures of worthless prestige/whatever else, but I'm sure that's been discussed before. The point is that these global ranking systems will actually affect the way some universities work, meaning that they will alter their academic system basically for the purpose of marketing, which cannot be a positive.

[Edited 2010-09-16 15:39:57]

37 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6471 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1907 times:

I have no idea on the fairness of the ranking (I tend to think there is no way to make it fair), but they couldn't write the name of the first French school correctly (Polytechnique), that doesn't smell good.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinetz757300 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2867 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1888 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 1):


I have no idea on the fairness of the ranking (I tend to think there is no way to make it fair), but they couldn't write the name of the first French school correctly (Polytechnique), that doesn't smell good.

The list is in English, not French, so the french spelling wouldn't do. Imagine every country's university spelled in the native language, the audience viewing that list wouldn't understand anything.

Anyway, I don't agree with lists like this. It assumes everyone coming from the top university will be a top notch candidate for anything, which simply isn't true. If that was the case, every prestigious award would go to the top universities, which isnt the case.



LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!
User currently offlineplaneguy727 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1235 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1890 times:

Solid methodology or not, I'm happy to see the Uni where I work in the top 20...


I want to live in an old and converted 727...
User currently offlineN6238P From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 500 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1868 times:

Thats strange I always thought the top 5 spots are reserved for ERAU.


To actively root against anybody is just low, and I hope karma comes back at you with a vengeance
User currently offlinecomorin From United States of America, joined May 2005, 4895 posts, RR: 16
Reply 5, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1828 times:

I do hope someone at these good universities can come up with a good methodology for ranking. A linear addition across ordinal scores is quite primitive, but I don't think there is any other methodology for such metrics.

I suspect there is built in bias towards English-speaking schools in the citations measure.

There's also the apples and oranges effect: Caltech, Gottingen, Karolinska (and others) are one-of-a-kind world treasures.

Hey, what happened to India? How come a country of 1B people can't come up with a Uni to match a Wake Forest? I think a big problem is funding professors and research at competitive salaries. It is ironic that the heads of Harvard, Kellogg, and many other top B schools are all of Indian origin. No shortage of bright people - just a shortage of world class institutions.


User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1830 times:

Quoting N6238P (Reply 4):
Thats strange I always thought the top 5 spots are reserved for ERAU.

What part of...

Quoting deltaownsall (Thread starter):
Global

do you not understand? ERAU is virtually non-existent and completely unheard of outside of the US, or the aviation field for that matter. I don't see too smaller, specialized universities listed for the same reason either.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21423 posts, RR: 56
Reply 7, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1824 times:

Quoting N6238P (Reply 4):
Thats strange I always thought the top 5 spots are reserved for ERAU.

Yes, ERAU has indeed been slighted.

     

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 6):

Humor comprehension fail.  

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinecabso1 From Canada, joined May 2005, 502 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1794 times:

The rankings are a load of hogwash. I refuse to believe that LSE is ranked lower than Sussex and York. While both Sussex and York are excellent in their own rights, if one's talking about rankings, it belongs with Oxbridge and Imperial.

User currently offlinedeltaownsall From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1173 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1778 times:

Quoting cabso1 (Reply 8):
I refuse to believe that LSE is ranked lower than Sussex and York.

Completely agree. There are plenty of similarly baffling rankings regarding U.S. schools (UIllinois Urbana, UC system schools, U Washington higher in the World than they are in their own country, Ohio State above Dartmouth, etc.) You might find it entertaining that U Manchester is apparently in the top 30 in the world according to QS. Either the system is inherently flawed, or some Uni's are extremely adept at gaming the system...a mix of both, probably.

Since you are from SG, how do you feel about the NUS ranking? Seems like this methodology was tailor made for them.


User currently offlineElite From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2006, 2791 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1775 times:

University of Hong Kong, #21 and first Asian university to be on the list... way to go!

User currently onlineHOONS90 From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 2993 posts, RR: 53
Reply 11, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1766 times:
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Quite surprised that my school (Toronto) got such a high ranking. Nonetheless, glad to be a student at a top 20 school!


The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
User currently offlinepdxtriple7 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 695 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1758 times:

These rankings reward state schools too much in the U.S.

User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4488 posts, RR: 22
Reply 13, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1758 times:

Vandy outside the top 50 (just barely)?? Shenanigans.

Honestly, these rankings are for the birds anyway. You can rank a college eight ways from Sunday and come up with a different result each time.

College is what you make of it. I've met brilliant minds from Podunk State College and I've met morons from Yale...and vice versa of course.



I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlinetz757300 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2867 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1748 times:

Quoting pdxtriple7 (Reply 12):


These rankings reward state schools too much in the U.S.

And what is wrong with state schools?

Quoting JBirdAV8r (Reply 13):

Honestly, these rankings are for the birds anyway. You can rank a college eight ways from Sunday and come up with a different result each time.

College is what you make of it. I've met brilliant minds from Podunk State College and I've met morons from Yale...and vice versa of course.

  



LETS GO MOUNTAINEERS!
User currently offlineN6238P From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 500 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1743 times:

Honestly I'm only disappointed when my school doesn't make the party school list.


To actively root against anybody is just low, and I hope karma comes back at you with a vengeance
User currently offlineLonghornmaniac From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 3275 posts, RR: 45
Reply 16, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 1741 times:

This list is pitiful. Any list that doesn't have the University of Texas at Austin as one of the best 200 universities in the world is immediately disqualified, IMO.

It has the University of Arizona, but not UT-Austin? Iowa? Iowa St.? Indiana? Come on.

Call me crazy, but in 2004, UT-Austin ranked #15 on this list. That makes no sense.

Cheers,
Cameron


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8370 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1713 times:

UC Santa Barbara... never seen them ranked that highly before. Seems odd.

User currently offlineAF340 From Canada, joined Jul 2007, 2786 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1709 times:

Quoting cabso1 (Reply 8):
I refuse to believe that LSE is ranked lower than Sussex and York.

The methodology for the rankings does disadvantage us quite a bit because we are such a specialized school. The rankings for Social Science institutions do, however, show LSE at or near the top most of the time.

Besides, we have the most important factor of all, high earnings after graduation!  


User currently offlineflybaurlax From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 637 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1696 times:

I can't believe Purdue got 105, yet a recent US college ranking system has us at number 4. I guess it really depends what they're looking at....the fact that UCSC (UC Santa Cruz) got above Purdue, well....that's just....yeah.....

I mean no offense to UCSC, they have great programs for things, but it's the biggest hippy/stoner school I know of.



Boilerup! Go Purdue!
User currently offlinedeltaownsall From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1173 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1693 times:

Quoting JBirdAV8r (Reply 13):
Vandy outside the top 50 (just barely)?? Shenanigans.

Indeed. We always get shafted by these intl rankings...there's something about being a private school in a landlocked state that they clearly don't take kindly to.

Quoting JBirdAV8r (Reply 13):
College is what you make of it. I've met brilliant minds from Podunk State College and I've met morons from Yale...and vice versa of course.

I agree to a point, but if you are going to make the most of it either way, you'll certainly be getting more out of the experience at some institutions than you might at others.

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 16):
This list is pitiful. Any list that doesn't have the University of Texas at Austin as one of the best 200 universities in the world is immediately disqualified, IMO.

Can't believe I didn't notice that...wow. Pretty horrendous.


User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10862 posts, RR: 38
Reply 21, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1655 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 1):
they couldn't write the name of the first French school correctly (Polytechnique), that doesn't smell good.

Ecole Polytechnique (also known as the "X") never had high international ratings, at least not outside of the French sphere, mainly Frrench speaking African countries and the Maghreb. Other than maybe the fact that they march on the Champs Elysées every year in the 14th July parade all dressed up in their uniforms with their little black hats and spades when tourists from the whole world can watch them.

Graduates of the school have to got to M.I.T. or Stanford or Berkeley to get a Ph.D. after their 4 years at Polytechnique to value their studies and make it in the world of top-scale international careers. Ecole Polytechnique has mainly local prestige, no more, no less. Even Oxford, Cambridge, Unviersity College in London and Zurich Tech always had higher ratings than the "X".

Being 39th place for this school is not an under rating. It's a fact. Most people who graduate from "X" end up working for French institutions, government or private. They go to places like Berkeley to work in labs for one month as part of their "starge étranger" (foreign internships) and then go back to Polytechnique to do their 4th and last year. When they graduate, they all get enticing jobs in France working for the government, for Areva, Airbus or other such companies. France never had the same educational/business/finance international scope as the U.K., Germany, Switzerland or even Italy, at least not after the 1960's. The world's top schools are elsewhere, they were never in France.



[Edited 2010-09-17 00:56:04]


There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13940 posts, RR: 63
Reply 22, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1633 times:

To me it seems that the universities were mostly ranked by reputation based on history.
I wonder e.g. why Tokyo University was ranked before Kyoto University. I know that in Japan Tokyo Eki is the most prestigious university, but that on the other hand most Japanese Nobel Prize winners came from Kyoto. From what I´ve heard is that Tokyo university teaches how to fit in to get a good job in Japanese administration or companies, while Kyoto university actually teaches the students to think out off the box.

Similarly the universities ranked highest in Germany are those with traditional names, those which were wellknown for centuries.

Jan


User currently offlineSevernaya From Russia, joined Jan 2009, 1393 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (3 years 9 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1621 times:

Glad to see my uni listed so high!

However, these kind of lists are strange. How on earth can you compare a general university (offering a lot of studies) with a certain specialized one (offering a narrow range of studies).

Apples & Oranges in my opinion!

Best are the lists that for example compare the business studies universities worldwide, or the medical schools.



Всяк глядит, да не всяк видит.
User currently offlineScarletHarlot From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 4673 posts, RR: 56
Reply 24, posted (3 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1538 times:

Quoting HOONS90 (Reply 11):
Quite surprised that my school (Toronto) got such a high ranking. Nonetheless, glad to be a student at a top 20 school!

But yet, Waterloo is not anywhere in the list...but McMaster is? And the University of Washington is? Ridiculous.



But that was when I ruled the world
25 Aesma : So, "Ecole" is an English word ? And they got the second French one right : "Ecole Normale Superieure" (except the lacking é). Doesn't look English
26 Baroque : I find it very depressing that education has not developed far enough for everyone to see that such rankings are of less worth than the chip paper the
27 Post contains links and images MadameConcorde : Don't forget André Turcat, First to Fly a Concorde - see this rare video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHPv0eEdjCU Mr Turcat is also an "X" coming
28 KINDFlyer : Damn. Just when I was beginning to feel good about myself.....
29 Post contains images signol : [cynic]Because for most universities, teaching undergraduates is way down their list of priorities, after number and quality of research papers publi
30 Post contains images Baroque : Yes well you already know the problem with France is it does not have a word for entrepreneur. The Anglo-American sphere seldom stops to wonder how i
31 Post contains images Severnaya : But still my point holds Can't compare a PhD in Economics with one in Engineering or Medics.
32 Post contains images signol : That is very true signol
33 Flighty : Why not? Engineering and Econ wouldnt be such different student processes. Or do you mean a university strong in X wouldn't necessarily be strong in
34 Post contains images Fly2HMO :
35 Severnaya : Yes that's what I mean, IMO apples & oranges.
36 Post contains images cabso1 : NUS is a strange thing! The students are die hard study animals, and entry is pretty selective, it is a very good university. However I feel no natio
37 A342 : I agree with Aesma, if the name cannot be properly translated. For example, "Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich" is quite misleading, as it
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