Thursday, October 08, 2009

World University Rankings

by Daniel L. Bennett

The THE-QE World University Rankings 2009 were released today. Harvard was atop the list of 200, but other than Yale at number 3, the top 6 are UK institutions. U.S. institutions round out the remaining top 10. The methodology used in developing the rankings are:
Peer Review Surveys (40%)
Employer Review Surveys (10%)
Staff/Student Ratio (20%)
Citations/Staff (20%)
% of International Staff (5%)
% of International Students (5%)
I like the inclusion of employer surveys, as it provides somewhat of a measure of student outcomes. The research output is a legitimate measure of university performance. The focus on international students and staff is questionable as a metric, but it is the peer review component that is the most controversial. U.S. News receives criticism every year for peer review accounting for 25% of its ranking, and for good reason. The THE-QS World Rankings give it a 40% weighting.

Criticism aside, I like the idea of ranking colleges on a global scale, as universities do compete for students, faculty and resources internationally. There are now several publications that rank schools globally. As we at CCAP believe, the more competition the better.

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