Education February 8, 2017: American universities fail to top Times Higher Education most international universities in 2017

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American universities fail to top Times Higher Education most international universities in 2017

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

When it comes to universities with the best global reputations and connections American universities are lagging behind their peers in Europe, Asia, and the United Kingdom. When Times Higher Education released on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, their inaugural ranking of the most international universities, not one American university made the top 20, with their first showing at number 22 with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For THE the most international schools are in Switzerland with ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich in the top spot, followed by École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in second place. Rounding out the top three is an Asian university, the University of Hong Kong.

Unlike THE World University Rankings, instead of the United States, the United Kingdom dominates the top ten of the most international universities. Five schools starting with the Imperial College of London rank in the top 10, the others include “the University of Oxford (sixth place), the University of Cambridge (eighth place), the University of London (ninth place) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (10th place).” The remaining top ten consists of another school from China fourth place the University of Singapore and Australasia is also represented with the Australian National University in seventh place.

The most international university rankings are far different than THE’s World University Rankings with very few making this list’s top 10. Only the Imperial College of London, which was eighth, University of Oxford, which was first, the University of Cambridge, which was fourth and the ETH Zurich, which was ninth-placed were ranked in the World University Rankings top 10.

American universities that usually crowd the top of most international rankings and even dominate THE’s World University Rankings are surprisingly absent from the even the most international universities top 20. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the top US showing at 22, whereas it was fifth in the world rankings, Harvard University that regularly tops many rankings at both national and international levels, just ranks at 33 whereas it was in sixth place in the world rankings.

The same can be said for Stanford University coming in at a measly 36 when it was third, the top ranking US school in the world rankings, Princeton University who was in seventh place in the world rankings is just 37, while the California Institute of Technology which was second, is only 52nd. There is a reason for this and has nothing to do with the preeminence of the institutions. Instead, they are “less reliant on immigration to supply it with the top student and academic talent,” and therefore rank lower in this international ranking. Still, American universities have an impressive showing, with 64 schools represented out of a ranking that only ranked 150 schools worldwide.

Unlike their neighbors to the South, Canadian universities fare well in the ranking, with five schools making a list, all of them, in the top 35. The University of British Columbia is the top Canadian school at 12th place; it was 36th in the world rankings. Followed by McGill University at 22nd (42), the University of Alberta at 31st, (107), the University of Toronto at 32nd place (22) and the University of Waterloo at 34, which only placed at 173 in the world rankings.

The ranking measures the international reach of the universities, their reputations and ability to attract an international array of professors, researchers, and students. The ranking is a combination of the “‘international outlook’ pillar of the THE World University Rankings 2016–17,” and the “measure of universities’ international reputations, taken from THE’s annual Academic Reputation Survey.”

Forbes simplifies THE’s methodology explaining the primary factors used in determining the list. They include “the proportions of international students, international staff and journal publications with at least one international co-author. It also weighs a school’s international reputation based on survey.” Each university’s overall score is an average of their “Staff/Student/Co-Author score” and “international reputation.”

Top 20 Times Higher Education Most International Universities:

Rank Rank in THE World University Rankings 2016–17 Institution Country Overall score
1 9 ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich Switzerland 97.1
2 30 École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Switzerland 96.7
3 43 University of Hong Kong Hong Kong 96.5
4 24 National University of Singapore Singapore 96
5 8 Imperial College London United Kingdom 95.2
6 1 University of Oxford United Kingdom 94.3
7 47 Australian National University Australia 93
8 4 University of Cambridge United Kingdom 92.8
9 15 University College London United Kingdom 92.2
10 25 London School of Economics and Political Science United Kingdom 92
11 36 King’s College London United Kingdom 91.9
12 36 University of British Columbia Canada 90.2
13 27 University of Edinburgh United Kingdom 90.1
14 78 University of New South Wales Australia 89.3
15 106 University of Zurich Switzerland 88.6
16 116 École Polytechnique France 88.5
17 82 University of Warwick United Kingdom 88.1
18 33 University of Melbourne Australia 87.7
19 88 University of Glasgow United Kingdom 86.8
20 55 University of Manchester United Kingdom 86.6

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education February 8, 2017: Harvard still tops US News 2017 Best Global Universities

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Harvard still tops US News 2017 Best Global Universities

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Harvard University remains the top university in the world according to US News and World Report’s third annual Best Global Universities Rankings, US News released the 2017 ranking on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. The biggest international university ranking looked at the best universities by “region, country, and subject.” This year’s ranking increased the number of school from 750 to 1000 from 65 countries in the world up from 57, giving each one a score out of 100.

There was a lot of movement in the top 10 of the ranking. As for the rest of the top three, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology remained second, and Stanford University moved up one to third. The top public school on the list the University of California-Berkeley moved down one to fourth, while the California Institute of Technology, Caltech moved up two to reach the top five.

The top ten’s two British universities, perennially in the top the University of Oxford (U.K.) and the University of Cambridge each moved down one to the sixth and seventh spot. Princeton joined the top ten, and moved up from 13th to eighth on the list, Princeton topped US News’s Best Colleges National ranking. Columbia University remained ninth, while the University of Chicago dropped out of the top 10 down to number 13.

The top 20 also saw some changes, 17 schools were from the US, with three from the UK including the Imperial College of London at 19. There was also a new entry to the top 20, the University of California San Francisco, a graduate school for the sciences moved up to number 17.

American universities dominated the entire ranking as they did the top 10 with 210 institutions, followed by China with 87 schools continuing the rise of Asian schools and the UK was third with 68 schools, in continental Europe Germany had 55 institutions in the ranking, while France had 49. The United Kingdom pierced the top universities with Oxford University at №6 and the University of Cambridge at №7, both moving down one spot. The US also leads in universities specializing in the arts and humanities, clinical medicine, computer science economics and business and engineering. The UK comes in second in the arts and humanities.

Robert Morse, chief data strategist at U.S. News, explained the reason behind American domination, “U.S. universities do especially well in the Best Global Universities rankings because they place an enormous emphasis on academic research — a key factor in our methodology since these are indicators that can be compared globally. This methodology is different from that of Best Colleges, which measures the overall quality of undergraduate education and focuses on outcomes including graduation and retention rates.”

The first university that made the list outside of the US and the UK was Canada with the University of Toronto at №21 down from 16 last year. The University of British Columbia came in second as it has been for most of this year’s international lists at №31 up two, followed by McGill University at №50 up from 53 last year.

The top European university outside of the UK is the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, coming in at only 35 down from 27 last year. The top Asian university on the list is the University of Tokyo at №44 moving down from 30 last year. In Oceania, the University of Melbourne in Australia took the highest spot for that area on the top 500 at №36 up from 40. The top school in Africa is the University of Cape Town that sits at №112 up from 162.

US News’ global universities list covers five regions including African universities. US News’ added to their country-specific rankings adding six more countries bringing the number to 38. There are 22 subject rankings in all. The subject rankings are dominated by STEM subjects; science, technology, engineering and mathematics with the addition of the arts and humanities.

US News utilizes data from Clarivate Analytics InCitesTM research analytics solutions, and citations data taken from the Web of Science database. The data “measures a university’s global and regional reputation; academic research performance using bibliometric indicators such as publications, citations and international collaboration; and school-level data on faculty and Ph.D. graduates.” This year US News’ altered their methodology “to further emphasize excellence in academic research by factoring in the total number of highly cited papers in the top 1 percent of their respective fields and the percentage of a university’s total papers that are among the top 1 percent of most-cited papers.”

U.S. News 2017 Best Global Universities Rankings top 10:

Overall Best Global Universities

1 Harvard University (U.S.) (1)
2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (U.S.) (2)
3 Stanford University (U.S.) (4)
4 University of California-Berkeley (U.S.) (3)
5 California Institute of Technology (U.S.) (7)
6 University of Oxford (U.K.) (5)
7 University of Cambridge (U.K.) (6)
8 Princeton University (13)
9 Columbia University (U.S.) (9)
10 University of California-Los Angeles (U.S.) (8)

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education February 8, 2017: Oxford tops 2016/17 Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings

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Oxford tops 2016/17 Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Times Higher Education (THE) released their 2016/17 World University Rankings on Sept. 21, 2016, with Britain’s Oxford University taking the leadas the top school. Oxford breaks California Institute of Technology (Caltech) five-year record topping the World University Rankings this year, while the rest of the top ten stayed mostly the same. The 2017 ranking is the first year with a university outside the US topping the list.

The top 10 saw little movement this year the only significant change was in the top two universities switching places, and the University of California, Berkeley moving up three to tie the University of Chicago for 10th place. The top 10 again features one university outside of the United States and the United Kingdom, Switzerland’s ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. US universities dominate the top 10 and the ranking list in general.

The biggest news, however, from the 2017 world ranking was that Britain dethroned the US with the top university after 12 years. Times Higher Education expressed in their announcement, “This year’s list of the best universities in the world is led by a U.K. university for the first time in the 12-year history of the [list. It is the first time a U.S. institution does not take the top spot.” Phil Baty, the rankings editor at Times Higher Education, commented on Oxford rankings, “It is fantastic news that the University of Oxford has topped the world university rankings for the first time. It is a great result for the UK higher education sector and cements its position as one of the greatest university nations in the world.”

The UK position on top is still fragile, especially with Brexit. Baty advised, “The UK must ensure that it limits the damage to academics, students, universities and science during its Brexit negotiations to ensure it remains one of the world leaders in higher education.” Although this year, Britain topped the ranking, and are behind the US in the number of schools included, their schools are dropping in the ranking.

As the Independent pointed out, “THE’s list has come just weeks after the QS World University Rankings highlighted how post-Brexit uncertainty and long-term funding issues are starting to stir up challenges for the UK’s universities; 38 of the UK’s 48 top-400 universities dropped down the rankings, with the University of Cambridge dropping out of the global top three for the first time since 2004.”

The THE World University Rankings expanded this year’s rankings with more universities from more countries. This year they ranked 978 schools, last year they only looked at 800 institutions. Despite losing the top spot American universities still, dominate the ranking with a third (63) of the schools in the top 200 and 148 overall, while Britain has 16 percent, 32 and 91 schools overall, while Germany has 11 percent in the top 200, with 22 schools represented.

Asian universities are seeing their predominance continue in the THE rankings a trend that began last year. However, there are fewer universities from Japan in the ranking. In total, there are 289 Asian universities on the list from 24 countries, with 19 in the top 200. Baty remarked, “This is meant to be the year that China overtakes the U.S. on science research and science publication.” The top university in Asia is Japan’s National University of Singapore at 24; the school’s best showing.

The ranking’s methodology involves four leading indicators, “teaching, research, citations and international outlook,” however; research takes precedence over the others. Baty explained the ranking’s successful methodology, “The single biggest individual indicator is research impact. We’re looking at 56 million citations, 11.9 million research publications.” As the Wall Street Journal indicates, THE’s World Rankings differs from American rankings is because it factors “global reach and includes only universities.” Oxford edged out Caltech because of its international stature and research, and the resulting income from its research.

In Canada, the University of Toronto again topped the Canadian universities on the list. The University of Toronto moved down three to take the №22 position. The University of British Columbia moved down two to tied for 36, while McGill University moved down four spots to №42. While the top university in Oceania is Australia’s the University of Melbourne which at moved up eight to tie for №38.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings is an offset of the QS World University Ranking. In 2010, Times Higher Education formed a new partnership with Thomson Reuters in 2010 and created a new methodology. The ranking looks at a university’s “teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.” Thomson Reuters utilizes 13 indicators to determine the results of the list, they are under five “overall indicators; “industry income, internationalism, teaching, research, and citations.”

The annual ranking includes ten additional lists covering subject fields, and universities in particular areas in addition to the main World University Rankings, which ranks the top 200 institutions. Subject field lists include; Arts & Humanities, Clinical, Pre-clinical & Health, Engineering & Technology, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, and the Social Sciences. Additionally, THE publishes the 150 Under 50, ranking universities established in the past 50 years, uS College Rankings, Asia University Rankings, Latin American Rankings, and BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings.

This year Harvard University tops again THE’s World Reputation Rankings, another of the THE lists, which looks at the “top 100 most powerful global university brands.” The top ten is almost filled with American Ivy League universities. MIT moves up two to second place, while Stanford moves up two as well to third. British universities, University of Cambridge and world rankings top school Oxford each drop two to fourth and fifth place respectively. As for the rest of the top 10, University of California, Berkeley is sixth, Princeton University of seventh, Yale University is eighth, followed by Columbia University at ninth, with Caltech rounding out at tenth place.

Times Higher Education’s top 10 from their World University Rankings:

1 University of Oxford, United Kingdom (2)
2 California Institute of Technology, United States (2)
3 Stanford University, United States (3)
4 University of Cambridge, United Kingdom (4)
5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States (5)
6 Harvard University, United States (6)
7 Princeton University, United States (7)
8 Imperial College London, United Kingdom (8)
9 ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland
10 University of Chicago, United States (10)
10 University of California, Berkeley (13)

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education February 8, 2017: Harvard again is ARWU World Rankings best university in 2016/17

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Harvard again is ARWU World Rankings best university in 2016/17

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) released their annual ranking lists on Aug. 15, 2016, with Harvard University again topping the best 500 universities in the world for the 14th year. The ARWU is one of only two major rankings that are not published by a western country either in the United States or the United Kingdom. Shanghai Ranking Consultancy compiles ARWU in China. The ranking is primarily based on scientific research to determine its rankings, and its subject rankings heavily look at the sciences except for the social sciences and economics.

For the 14th straight year, Harvard University topped the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU)’s list. The top ten’s schools are unchanged from last year’s rankings and consist of eight American universities and two British institutions, but they moved around in their ranking. The world ranking also includes national ranks for each school represented on the list.

Stanford University remains in second place, but the University of California Berkeley, the top public school, moves up to third. The United Kingdom’s top school, the University of Cambridge, moves up one to fourth place, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology falls two to round up the top five.

In the second half of the top ten, Princeton is only the other university to maintain its spot, staying in sixth place. The University of Oxford is the greatest gainer in the top ten going up from tenth to seventh. While the California Institute of Technology Caltech, Columbia University and the University of Chicago each moved down one, to eighth, ninth, and tenth place respectively.

The top ranking university in continental Europe is ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) moving up one to19th. Denmark’s University of Copenhagen moves up to 30th becoming Continental Europe’s second best university, while France’s Pierre & Marie Curie University at 39th moves down to third place in Europe.

The list includes a rising number of Asian universities with The University of Tokyo is the top Asian university on the list, this time entering the top 20, in 20th place. Australia’s the University of Melbourne is the top university in the Oceania region coming at 40th.

The top Canadian university is the University of Toronto at №27 down two from last year. The University of British Columbia moved up three top №34 and second place in Canada.While McGill came in third in Canada moving up one to 63. Israel has a new top university with the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) moving up nine spots to 67, while Hebrew University moves down 20 spots from last year to 87.

The United States dominates the rankings as it does with all the global lists, while the United Kingdom is in second place. The US holds 15 of the top 20 spots, the UK has three spots, but this year the usual American and British dominance is challenged with the addition of a Swiss and Japanese university.

Although most of the schools in the ranking are from the US and Europe, Asian universities are seeing their numbers rise, with China and Singapore seeing one school crack the top 100 for the first time, China’s Tsinghua University is 58th, while Singapore’s National University of Singapore clocks in at 83.

There are 27 universities appearing in the ranking for the first time, while nine schools broke into the top 100 first time, according to ARWU they are “Tsinghua University, Peking University, Monash University, National University of Singapore, Mayo Medical School and the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.”

The main lists compromises of three different separate rankings; World Top 500 Universities; World Top 200 Universities in Broad Subject Fields, and World Top 200 Universities by Subject Fields. Shanghai Ranking Consultancy has been publishing the list since 2003.

Academic Ranking of World Universities ARWU’s top 10 world universities:

1 Harvard University (1)
2 Stanford University (2)
3 University of California Berkeley (4)
4 University of Cambridge (5)
5 MIT (3)
6 Princeton University (6)
7 University of Oxford (10)
8 California Institute of Technology Caltech (7)
9 Columbia University (8)
10 University of Chicago (9)

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

 

Education February 8, 2017: MIT stays on top of QS World University Rankings in 2016/17

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MIT stays on top of QS World University Rankings in 2016/17

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

For the fifth year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is sitting on the top of the QS World University Rankings’ Top Universities. QS World University Rankings released their 2015/16 ranking on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2016, and the first time in the ranking’s history the top three is all American schools, with MIT, Stanford and Harvard University making a trifecta.

The top 10 shows an almost even balance between American and British universities with one continental European institution Switzerland’s ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at eighth place breaking up what has been for years an exclusive club. “Academic reputation” is the most important determining factor for the lists, and it is reflected by the universities represented in the ranking.

This year there are five American (MIT (1), Stanford (2), Harvard (3), Caltech (5), the University of Chicago (10)). And four British universities (Cambridge (4), Oxford (6), University College of London (7), Imperial College of London (9)) in the top 10. The top Ivy League school on the list is Harvard at №3 down one spot from last year. The 2017 ranking is the first year where a British school did not occupy one of the top three spots. Britain’s leading school, the University of Cambridge, moves down one to fourth place.

Two of the four British universities in the top 10 moved down a spot from last year, showing a troubling trend for British universities throughout the ranking. Meanwhile, there are 11 American universities in the top 20, while there are five British universities in the top 20. In this year’s edition, there are four universities outside of the US and the UK in the top 20, two from Switzerland, and two from Singapore.

The QS World University Rankings consistently includes more non-US and on-UK universities in the top 20 than any of the other international rankings. There are 81 countries represented in the ranking of 916 schools 25 more than last year’s edition. The Unites States has the most universities in the ranking top 200 with a quarter, 48 schools, Britain follows in second place with 30 of the top 200 universities. Despite Britain’s strong showing, British schools are ranking lower than last year, because of concerns regarding Brexit, including attracting students and funding. According to Forbes, “38 of its 48 representatives in the top 400 have lost ground.” Last year there were three schools from London in the top 20, now there are only two.

The top university outside the UK is Switzerland’s ETH Zürich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology moving up one to №8, which is considered “the top university in continental Europe” in many world and global rankings. The top Asian university is The National University of Singapore (NUS) ranking in at №12. Australia’s Australian National University is the top ranking university from the Australasia region falling three to 22.

Canada features three universities in the top 50; the same three universities are Canada’s top institutions in all international rankings. McGill University holds QS’s top spot at №30, moving down six spots, but reclaiming the top spot for Canada. The University of Toronto falls two to №36, while the University of British Columbia is the only one to rise, moving up 5 to 45th place. The QS ranking is the only international ranking where McGill is the top school in the country; University of Toronto usual takes that honor.

Ben Sowter, head of research at the QS Intelligence Unit, who also compiled the ranking, explained to Forbes about the movement, “This year’s rankings imply that levels of investment are determining who progresses and who regresses. Institutions in countries that provide high levels of targeted funding, whether from endowments or from the public purse, are rising.” Sowter continued saying, “On the other hand, Western European nations making or proposing cuts to public research spending are losing ground to their U.S. and Asian counterparts. Innovation and investment remain inextricably linked to one another, and Stanford superseding Cambridge is perhaps the highest-profile example of this pattern.”

QS World University Rankings was originally a collaboration between the education and career company Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) with the Times Higher Education (THE) to create a world university ranking in 2003. For five years the listing was published on THE, with QS supplying the data. In 2010, Times Higher Education decided to break off the partnership and pair up with Thomson Reuters to produce their ranking list. The decision was mostly because of the heavy reliance of using peer reviews to determine the rankings. The QS World University Rankings first appeared in its present format in 2010.

The ranking methodology looks at six indicators in giving marks to each university. The six indicators include, “academic reputation, student-to-faculty ratio, citations per faculty, employer reputation, international faculty ratio, and international student ratio.” Each university is accessed on four factors: “research, teaching, employability, and internationalization.”

The QS World University Ranking changed their methodology last year to focus more heavily on research. There is now more reliance on “citations per faculty, making that indicator weight 20 percent of the final score.” QS is using their data from Scopus, “the world’s largest database of research abstracts and citations.” The ranking’s reliance on citation numbers pushes the balance for universities with active life and natural science programs because academics in those fields have “higher citation rates than in the arts, humanities or social sciences.

The list is highly regarded, but controversial, because they rely on academic peer reviews to rank the universities, others factors include faculty-student ratio, citations by faculty, recruiter review, and internationalism. The World University Rankings list looks at over 900 schools. The ranking includes some sub-lists looking at more specific issues or geographic areas including; By Faculty, Asia, Latin America, BRICS countries; Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Best Student Cities, By Subject, and also the top 50 universities under 50 years old.

QS World University Rankings Top Universities 2016/17 top 10:

1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States (1)
2 Stanford University, United States(3=)
3 Harvard University, United States (2)
4 University of Cambridge, United Kingdom (3=)
5 California Institute of Technology (Caltech), United States (5)
6 University of Oxford, United Kingdom (6)
7 UCL (University College London), United Kingdom (7)
8 ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland (9)
9 Imperial College London, United Kingdom (8)
10 University of Chicago, United States (10)

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education February 8, 2017: Harvard remains CWUR World Rankings top university in 2016/17

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Harvard remains CWUR World Rankings top university in 2016/17

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

The first major university ranking of the year released is the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR), who publishes their list way before the start of the new academic year. On July 11, 2016, the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) released their ranking of the Top 1000 Universities in the world. Harvard topped their list for the fifth time. The CWUR is one of only two major rankings that are not published by a western country either in the United States or the United Kingdom. CWUR is centered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The 2016 edition is the fifth year CWUR has released their rankings; the relatively new listing first started in 2012. It includes their ranking of the Top 1000 Universities. After Harvard, the rest of the top three remains the same as last year with Stanford second and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) third.

Two British universities round out the top five as last year, with the University of Cambridge in fourth place closely followed by the University of Oxford rounding out the top five. The top 10 had little movement with one exception Yale reemerged to reclaim the tenth place after dropping to eleventh place last year, while Cornell moved back out of the top ten down to twelfth place.

The US dominated the CWUR rankings as it does with most other world university rankings. There were 224 American schools in the top 1000. The CWUR ranking shows how preeminent Asian schools are becoming globally, here they follow the US in the most school represented an honor usually reserved for the United Kingdom. There are 90 universities from China and 74 from Japan on the list with Britain in fourth with only 65 schools. The UK however, is the only other country to break American dominance in the top ten. CWUR’s Nadim Mahassen indicated, “In 2016, 60 countries — more than ever before — feature in the top 1,000. We hope to see more countries represented in the future.”

CWUR also includes rankings by country, with lists of the best universities in the major countries in all the world’s regions and they correspond to the rankings on the international list. Therefore, Harvard also tops the USA list, while the number four University of Cambridge is the United Kingdom’s top school.

The first school to make the global list outside of the US and the UK was Japan’s the University of Tokyo at number thirteen, the top ranking Asian school; Japan has two universities in the top 20. The first university ranking from the European continent is Switzerland’s Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, which ranks at 23rd down three places from last year. In Oceania, Australia has the top school with the University of Melbourne at 89.

The University of Toronto is Canada’s top university but only ranks at 30 on the international list, up two from last year. McGill University sits at number two in Canada, but only 42 internationally. In the Middle East, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel is the highest-ranking university, coming in at a high number 26 internationally, down three from last year; Hebrew U usually ranks as Israel’s top university.

CWUR centered in Saudi Arabia emphasizes universities located in the Middle East, which is mostly overlooked in other international rankings. Saudi Arabia’s King Saud University at 602 tops the Arab World’s list, Saudi Arabia’s country and the GCC Countries ranking lists.

The key to their methodology is objectivity; all the eight indicators are backed by solid, quantifiable statistics emphasizing graduate success and faculty research. The primary indicators account for 25 percent of the score each and include Quality of Education focused on alumni awards, alumni employment calculating the number of graduates who became CEOs at major companies, Quality of Faculty calculating the awards the faculty has garnered. The remaining indicators account for five percent each and emphasize faculty research and include publications, influence, citations, broad impact using the “university’s h-Index,” and patents.

According to the description of their methodology, “The Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR) publishes the only global university ranking that measures the quality of education and training of students along with the prestige of the faculty members and the quality of their research without relying on surveys and university data submissions.”

Mahassen says CWUR’s ranking is “superior” than most of the international rankings because it bases the results entirely on the quantifiable. Mahassen explicitly expressed that the CWUR is better than Times Higher Education World University Rankings because they rely partially on reputation, and is fairer to all disciplines than ARWU because they rely on scientific publications in their ranking methodology.

Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) top 10:

1 Harvard University, USA (1)
2 Stanford University, USA (2)
3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA (3)
4 University of Cambridge, United Kingdom (4)
5 University of Oxford, United Kingdom (5)
6 Columbia University, USA (6)
7 University of California, Berkeley, USA (7)
8 University of Chicago, USA (8)
9 Princeton University, USA (9)
10. Yale University, USA (11)

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education February 8, 2017: McGill still tops Maclean’s University Rankings for 2017

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McGill still tops Maclean’s University Rankings for 2017

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

The most prominent university ranking in Canada is Maclean’s Magazine University Ranking and McGill University continues to be the country’s top school. Maclean’s Magazine released their 2017 University Ranking online and as a guidebook on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, where for the 12th straight year McGill University topped the list in the Medical Doctoral category. Simon Fraser University remained number one in the Comprehensive category for the third year in a row; while the University of Northern British Columbia retained the top spot in the Primarily Undergraduate category, while the University of Toronto took the №1 spot in the reputation survey.

The most significant of Maclean’s’ ranking lists is their Medical Doctoral category, focusing on the major research universities. Macleans explains universities in this category include “a medical school and a wide range of research and Ph.D. programs.” McGill again topped the list this year and had retained the number one spot for the past 12 years. McGill was able to beat the competition despite funding problems that have been plaguing the university in the past couple of years.

There was no movement in the top six of the category with Toronto in second, UBC in third, followed by Queen’s in fourth, Alberta in fifth and McMaster Universities in sixth place. There was a lot of movement in the last four spots of the top 10. Dalhousie moved up again from eighth to seventh again. Ottawa moved up from tied for ninth and Western Ontario moved down from seventh to both being tied for eighth. Meanwhile, the University of Calgary moved down one to tenth place.

Maclean’s explains the reason for their three main ranking lists saying they “place universities into three categories to recognize the differences in levels of research funding, the diversity of offerings and the breadth and depth of graduate and professional programs.” Student satisfaction has affected ranking for the major universities that have students that commute, including McGill in Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa. McGill has a reputation as the Harvard of the North and rightfully keeps its spot as the nation’s best at the top of the Medical Doctoral category.

McGill’s Principal Suzanne Fortier was pleased with Maclean’s ranking results. Fortier issued a statement saying, “Our leading position in scholarships and bursaries in this ranking underscores our commitment to ensuring accessibility to education for all talented students, regardless of their financial means. As we always note, rankings are not an exact science, and different rankings measure different things. But we are proud of the qualities and efforts that have kept us atop the Maclean’s ranking for the past 12 years.”

The Comprehensive category is described as universities “with significant research, undergraduate, and graduate programs as well as professional schools,” but are not as research focused, and do not have Medical schools. This year Simon Fraser University again topped the category for “the third year in a row” and 13 times in the ranking’s history. Only three other schools have ever topped the comprehensive category, the University of Waterloo, which is second, University of Victoria, in third place and the University of Guelph, which is this year’s fourth place school. Most of the top ten remained the same with just some minor movements; the biggest change was last year’s ninth place Ryan University dropping out of the top ten.

The Primarily Undergraduate category features universities who focus on their undergraduate program. University of Northern British Columbia (UNB) remains on top for the second year in a row. Mount Allison University, who had topped the list for eight years until last year when it fell to fourth, rebounded back to second place. Lethbridge University retains the third spot, Trent moves down two to fourth place, and Acadia remains in the same spot rounding out the top five.

The significant changes in the list come in the top ten’s last two spots, Bishop’s University enters the list in ninth place moving three, with Laurentian University moving back into the top ten, up one to tenth place. Leaving the top ten is Lakehead University, which as in ninth place last year and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, which held the tenth place last time.

Macleans’ rankings do not have drastic changes from year to year because of the methodology they use, relying on as the magazine explains, “research funding and university spending don’t vary wildly from year to year, and student and faculty awards, as well as publications and citations, are counted over a five-year period. Twelve of the 14 ranking indicators are derived from data from third-party sources, such as the three major federal granting councils (SSHRC, NSERC, and CIHR) and Statistics Canada. The other two indicators are based on a reputational survey and a student survey. These surveys are subjective, and people criticize them-or praise them-for that very reason.”

Macleans’ Reputation Survey is the most controversial lists in their annual rankings, because it is subjective, taking their results from a survey completed by “education and business leaders,” “asking for their views on quality and innovation at Canadian universities.” This year the survey was conducted entirely online. Maclean’s publishes four reputation rankings, Best Overall, Highest Quality, Most Innovative, and Leaders of Tomorrow, with 49 universities represented in all four lists.

Maclean’s Reputation Survey has the University of Toronto again topping the “Best Overall” list, followed by Waterloo moving up to second, then the University of British Columbia falling to third, and McGill falling to fourth. Before last year, Waterloo dominated the list appearing at the top for 19 times. In Highest Quality, Toronto is also on top followed by McGill and Waterloo, with UBC moving down to fourth.

In the Most Innovative, Waterloo again tops the list, with Toronto second and McGill swapping places with UBC for third, and UBC falls to fourth. The Leaders of Tomorrow reputation list had Toronto moving up two to the top spot, followed by UBC remaining second, while former number one Waterloo dropped to third, and McGill remained in fourth place.

Except from some universities changing places in the later part of the top ten, the list remained intact with two exceptions; Universite de Montreal entered the Most Innovative list moving up four to ninth place, while the University of Western Ontario joined the Leaders of Tomorrow reputation list moving up four to eighth place.

Maclean’s shook up their rankings last year adding a student survey called “Students Favorite Schools.” The info compiled produced far different top universities in each of the three categories. Students named Université de Sherbrooke the top Medical Doctoral University, the Wilfrid Laurier University, the top in the Comprehensive category, and Bishop’s University remained the top Primarily Undergraduate University. The survey asked students about “course instructors, student life staff and administrative staff” and added two additional questions this year on “academic advising staff and experiential learning.”

Maclean’s continued the tradition they started last year to included program rankings, looking at the top 10 universities for each of the ten programs they profiled. The majority of the programs are STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics related and include the following, engineering, geology, psychology, mathematics, environmental science, biology, nursing and computer science programs. Only two programs ranked where outside of STEM subjects, business and education.

Maclean’s new methodology relies more heavily on citations, “Maclean’s worked with Amsterdam-based Elsevier, which operates Scopus, the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature in the world, to assess the number of papers and the impact of professors’ research at Canadian universities.”

Maclean’s three major rankings Medical Doctoral, Comprehensive, and Primarily Undergraduate use the same methodology to determine the lists’ rankings. There are six performance indicators; students and classes account for 20 percent of the grade, Faculty also 20 percent, Resources account for 12 percent, Student Support at 13 percent, Library at 15 percent, and Reputation weighs heavily at 20 percent.

Here is Maclean’s top 10 in their Doctoral-Medical category and includes the university’s 2017 positions:

1 McGill University (1)
2 University of Toronto (3)
3 University of British Columbia (UBC) (3)
4 Queen’s University (4)
5 University of Alberta (5)
6 McMaster University (6)
7 Dalhousie University (8)
8 University of Ottawa (*9)
8 University of Western Ontario (7)
10 University of Calgary (*9)

Comprehensive category’s top 10:

1 Simon Fraser University (1)
2 University of Waterloo (3)
3 University of Victoria (2)
4 University of Guelph (5)
5 Carleton University (4)
6 University of New Brunswick (6)
7 Memorial University (7)
7 York University (7)
9Wilfrid Laurier University (10)
10 Concordia University (10)

Primarily Undergraduate category’s top 10:

1 University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) (2)
2 Mount Allison University (4)
3 Lethbridge University (3)
4 Trent University (2)
5 Acadia University (5)
6 St. Francis Xavier University (5)
7 Saint Mary’s University (5)
8 University of Prince Edward Island (8)
9 Bishop’s University (12)
10 Laurentian University (11)

Maclean’s Reputation Survey top 10

Best Overall University Highest Quality Most Innovative Leaders of Tomorrow
1 Toronto 1 2 1
2 Waterloo 3 1 3
3 UBC 4 4 2
4 McGill 2 3 4
5 Alberta 7 6 5
6 Queen’s 5 7 6
7 McMaster 6 5 7
8 Western 8 9 12
9 Montréal 9 13 8
10 Simon Fraser 11 10 10

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education February 8, 2017: Stanford tops new WSJ Times Higher Education US college ranking for 2017

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Stanford tops new WSJ Times Higher Education US college ranking for 2017

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

The nation’s most selective college Stanford University is on top of the inaugural Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education college rankings. WSJ and THE released the first joint ranking of American colleges on Sept. 28, 2016, where the top ten included some of the country’s most elite universities including seven belonging to the Ivy League. Stanford is the top of not only WSJ/THE ranking but also Forbes 2016 American Top College rankings and was MONEY’s top school in 2015.

This new ranking focuses heavily on the outcomes of getting a degree from one the institutions. As Time magazine noted what sets the WSJ’s new ranking apart is the “10,000-student survey that asks students about career preparation and whether they think the school was worth the cost.”

The ranking’s methodology looks at some factors including “salaries of graduates and debt repayment rates, school reputation, research impact, and how much a college spends to educate each student.” According to the WSJ, colleges are specifically marked on the following categories “alumni earnings, debt burdens, student engagement, resources, diversity of students and faculty, and academic reputation.” The WSJ also ranked universities on specific factors, “Resources (#1: Harvard University), Student Outcomes (#1: Yale University), Engagement (#1: Dordt College), Environment (#1: La Sierra University).”

Dave Pettit, Editor of Specialized News Products, The Wall Street Journal discussed what makes the ranking unique. Pettit explained, “We designed the rankings to evaluate colleges the same way parents and prospective students do. We place an emphasis on financial considerations, including the resources colleges put into instruction and colleges’ success in positioning their graduates to earn a good salary. We also look at schools’ success in teaching and engaging students, and the diversity of the colleges’ communities. Our goal is to provide insights parents and students can use in making this critical life decision.”

The majority of the schools in the top 30 are private, as well as the entire top 10. The only public schools are the University of Michigan, University of California-Los Angeles, and University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill ranking 24, 26, and 30. Over 1,000 colleges were included in the ranking.

WSJ/THE US College Rankings top 10:

1. Stanford University
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
3. Columbia University
4. University of Pennsylvania
5. Yale University
6. Harvard University
7. Duke University
8. Princeton University
9. Cornell University
10. California Institute of Technology

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

 

Education February 8, 2017: Princeton and Williams remain on top of US News’ 2017 Best Colleges

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Princeton and Williams remain on top of US News’ 2017 Best Colleges

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

U.S. News & World Report the standard-bearers in the national university and college rankings game released the first of two major college and university rankings for the season. On Sept. 13, 2016, US News released their Best Colleges rankings for 2017 online. Princeton, Williams and Berkeley all saw repeat visits to the top of the rankings with Princeton №1 for the fourth year of all Best National Universities, while Williams remains the Best National Liberal Arts College for the past 15 years. Berkeley reined the Top Public Universities as it has for the last 19 years, and the United States Naval Academy is first of the Top Public National Liberal Arts Colleges.

This year there was a shake-up in the top three in both Best National Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges. Most notably in the Best National Universities list, the University of Chicago that moves up one to tie Yale University for the third spot. Columbia and Stanford Universities both dropped one spot to being tied for fourth to tied for fifth. The University of Pennsylvania dropped one spot from eighth to ninth place, while the California Institute of Technology drops out of the top 10 from being tied for 10th place to №12.

The top three Best National Liberal Arts Colleges also remained unchanged with Williams College on top and Amherst in second. The middle of the top changed dramatically with Wellesley College moving up to third, Middlebury College and Swarthmore College tied for fourth and Bowdoin College moving down to sixth. In the second half of the top 10 Carleton College moves up one to seventh place, while formerly fourth place Pomona College drops three to seventh. The only public school United States Naval Academy dropped out of the top 10 from ninth to 12th place.

In the lists of best public schools, University of California-Berkeley was named the Top Public University for the 19th year in a row, and the United States Naval Academy named Top public Liberal Arts College. US News publishes their “Best Colleges” ranking lists in different categories including National Universities, National Liberal Arts Colleges, Top Public Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges, Regional Universities and Regional Colleges, A-plus Schools for B Students, Best Value Schools for universities and liberal arts colleges, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In total, more than 1,800 colleges and universities were profiled with 1,374 ranked.

Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News, commented on the value of the rankings to help with college choice decision making. Kelly explained, “I encourage parents and students to use the wealth of data and information in Best Colleges to identify schools that suit their specific needs. In addition to considering factors like location and cost, families should pay close attention to graduation and retention rates. These are important indicators of how well a school supports its students both academically and financially. Getting into a good school means nothing if you cannot graduate.”

Although public universities and liberal arts colleges are given separate lists, the same is not done with private universities and liberal arts colleges. The US News’ ranking categories are based on Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. This year US News used the “2015 update” which caused 12 percent of the schools in the ranking to change categories.

US News Best Colleges’ methodology involves looking at over 1,800 universities and colleges to create their four rankings; the results are determined by “15 measures of academic quality,” taken from the Common Data Set. The Best Colleges lists rely heavily on “student outcomes” predominantly “graduation and retention rates” which represent 30 percent of the deciding factor in the ranking.

The US News rankings guidebook and companion website include over 50 ranking lists. This year the methodology was slightly altered when it came to one factor, class size, in the past the ranking included two metrics involving class size, now there is just one. The methodology US News uses benefits private universities, and the rubrics are “based on school reputation surveys; student selectivity; faculty resources; alumni giving; graduation and retention rates; and total spending per student on education.” In contrast public universities “rely heavily on state funding, often have tighter budgets, far larger enrollment and a broader mandate for accessibility than private institutions.”

Best National Universities

1 Princeton University (NJ) (1)
2 Harvard University (MA) (2)
3 University of Chicago (IL) (4)
3 Yale University (CT) (3)
5 Columbia University (NY) (4)
5 Stanford University (CA) (4)
7 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (7)
8 Duke University (NC) (8)
8 University of Pennsylvania (9)
10 Johns Hopkins University (MD) (10)

Best National Liberal Arts Colleges

1 Williams College (MA) (1)
2 Amherst College (MA) (2)
3 Wellesley College (MA) (4)
4 Middlebury College (VT) (4)
4 Swarthmore College (PA) (4)
6 Bowdoin College (ME) (4)
7 Carleton College (MN) (8)
7 Pomona College (CA) (4)
9 Claremont McKenna College (CA) (9)
9 Davidson College (NC) (9)

Top Public Schools

National Universities
1 University of California-Berkeley
2 University of California-Los Angeles
3 University of Virginia
4 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
5 University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Liberal Arts Colleges

1 United States Naval Academy (MD)
2 United States Military Academy (NY)
3 United States Air Force Academy (CO)
4 New College of Florida
4 Virginia Military Institute

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

 

Education February 8, 2017: Forbes names Stanford University America’s Top College for 2016/17

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Forbes names Stanford University America’s Top College for 2016/17

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Forbes Magazine was again the first list to release their national ranking of American colleges and universities. Forbes released on July 7, 2016, their ninth annual ranking of America’s Top 100 Colleges placing the most selective school Stanford University in the top spot. The ranking heavily relies on return on investment with the subheading the 600+ schools worth the investment. The ranking looks at the top colleges but also includes separate lists for Top Public and Private Colleges, Top Liberal Arts Schools, and Top STEM Colleges.

Former Top 100 Colleges Williams College remains in second place, followed Princeton University, which moved up to third, the top Ivy League university on the list. Harvard University moves up two to fourth, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology the greatest gainer moved up five to round out the top five. The remaining top 10 has Yale, which dropped a spot to sixth, former top college, and Pomona dropped to seventh place. The last remaining schools in the top ten are Brown University, which remained at eighth, Wesleyan University, a new entry to the top ten and Swarthmore College that fell three spots to tenth.

According to Forbes the ninth edition of the ranking has a theme of “higher ed in transition.” The top schools shifting from the East Coast to the West Coast, with Stanford University being the top college in the country and the most selective university. Stanford receives the most applications and admits the least percentage of students. According to Forbes, Stanford “emerged as the nation’s preeminent university,” while “students all over the world are increasingly drawn to the nowness of the West Coast.”

There is still an ongoing struggle between Liberal Arts colleges versus large research universities emphasizing, STEM, science, technology, engineering, and math. There are 51 liberal arts colleges in the top 100 colleges more than previous years, and liberal arts colleges that never cracked the top 10 or top 25 now made the cut.

Still, older private schools are monopolizing the top spots in the list, showing not much is indeed changing. As Forbes notes, “All the Ivys do very, very well: seven of the eight Ivy League schools and five of the eight “Little Ivies” make the top 20.” Younger schools in the west, however, are moving up in the rankings.

Forbes like US News weighs graduation and retention rates high in the listing’s methodology. The top schools are also the most expensive, and as Forbes noted the top 50 cost an average $59,000 each academic year. Still, these expensive universities offer good financial aid packages that leave their low graduate debt.

These top ranking schools have the right combination of “age, location, endowment and low debt for students.” Like US News, Forbes is riding the wave of ranking the best value colleges, determining Return on Investment, ROI. Forbes worked with the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP) to determine “What are students getting out of college.”

Forbes Top Colleges top ten:

1. Stanford University (3)
2. Williams College (2)
3. Princeton University (4)
4. Harvard University (6)
5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (10)
6. Yale University (5)
7. Pomona College (1)
8. Brown University (8)
9. Wesleyan University
10. Swarthmore College (7)

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

 

Education February 8, 2017: University Rankings 2017 roundup American universities threatened by the UK and Europe

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University Rankings 2017 roundup American universities threatened by the UK and Europe

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

The 2016–17 rankings season is officially over with the release on February 1, 2017, Times of Higher Education’s newest ranking the inaugural edition of the world’s most international universities. The season catering to college-bound high school students and their parents began in July and finally ended this month. The rankings showcased lists that were national covering only colleges and universities in the United States, but also international lists were American schools competed with high regarded and older universities in the United Kingdom, Europe and the emerging threat of rising Asian schools.

Although the US dominated the rankings in sheer numbers as they always have this year was the first time non-American schools topped international rankings posing a threat to America’s ranking dominance in higher education. On the home front, there was also a shift emerging from the Ivy League in the east to the west with Stanford University being named the top university in two out of three major national rankings. That wave to the west was not as attractive on the international front. When an American school topped an international ranking, it was the jewel of the Ivies Harvard University that claimed the coveted top spot, claiming the throne on three major ranking lists including one published in the US.

Time Higher Education two main rankings their flagship 2016/17 World University Rankings and their latest addition the Most International Universities proved how vulnerable American preeminence in higher education is at the top. Both rankings had non-American schools at the top of their lists. With the World rankings a British schools for the first time dethroned the US, while in the Most International Universities rankings British, European Asian schools left the US out in the cold in not only the top ten but also the top 20 of the ranking.

When Times Higher Education released on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, their inaugural ranking of the Most International Universities looking at global reputation and connections, not one American university made the top 20, with their first showing at number 22 with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For THE the most international schools are in Switzerland with ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich in the top spot, followed by École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in second place. Rounding out the top three is an Asian university, the University of Hong Kong.

Unlike THE World University Rankings, instead of the United States, the United Kingdom dominates the top ten of the most international universities. Five schools starting with the Imperial College of London rank in the top 10, the others include “the University of Oxford (sixth place), the University of Cambridge (eighth place), the University of London (ninth place) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (10th place).” The remaining top ten consists of another school from China fourth place the University of Singapore and Australasia is also represented with the Australian National University in seventh place.

Times Higher Education (THE) released their 2016/17 World University Rankings on Sept. 21, 2016, with Britain’s Oxford University taking the leadas the top school. Oxford broke California Institute of Technology (Caltech) five-year record topping the World University Rankings this year, while the rest of the top ten stayed mostly the same. The biggest news, however, from the 2017 world ranking was that Britain dethroned the US with the top university after 12 years, this is the first year with a university outside the US topping the list.

The top 10 saw little movement this year the only significant change was in the top two universities switching places, and the University of California, Berkeley moving up three to tie the University of Chicago for 10th place. The top 10 again features one university outside of the United States and the United Kingdom, Switzerland’s ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. US universities dominate the top 10 and the ranking list in general.

In the remaining rankings released this past season, American schools fared better continuing their dominance here is a rundown of the rankings lists:

National Rankings

Forbes Magazine America’s Top 100 Colleges

Forbes Magazine was again the first list to release their national ranking of American colleges and universities. Forbes released their ninth annual ranking of America’s Top 100 Colleges on July 7, 2016, placing the most selective school Stanford University in the top spot. Former Top 100 CollegesWilliams College is second after Stanford followed Princeton University in third, which happens to be the top Ivy League university on the list. In fourth place are Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology rounding out the top five. The remaining top 10 has Yale at №6, and Pomona College at №7. The last remaining schools respectively are Brown University, Wesleyan University, and Swarthmore College.

According to Forbes, the ninth edition of the ranking has a theme of “higher ed in transition.” The top schools are shifting from the East Coast to the West Coast, with Stanford University being the top college in the country and the most selective university. Stanford receives the most applications and admits the least percentage of students. According to Forbes, Stanford “emerged as the nation’s preeminent university,” while “students all over the world are increasingly drawn to the nowness of the West Coast.”

US News’ 2017 Best Colleges

U.S. News & World Report the standard-bearers in the national university and college rankings game released the first of two major college and university rankings for the season. On Sept. 13, 2016, US News released their Best Colleges rankings for 2017 online. Princeton, Williams, and Berkley all saw repeat visits to the top of the rankings with Princeton №1 for the fourth year of all Best National Universities, while Williams remains the Best National Liberal Arts College for the past 15 years. Berkley reined the Top Public Universities as it has for the last 19 years, and the United States Naval Academy is first of the Top Public National Liberal Arts Colleges.

This year there was a shake-up in the top three in both Best National Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges. Most notably in the Best National Universities list, although Harvard remained in second place, the University of Chicago that moved up one to tie Yale University for the third spot. Columbia and Stanford Universities both dropped one spot to being tied for fourth to tied for fifth. The University of Pennsylvania dropped one spot from eighth to ninth place, while the California Institute of Technology drops out of the top 10 from being tied for 10th place to №12.

The top three Best National Liberal Arts Colleges also remained unchanged, with Williams College on top and Amherst in second. The middle of the top changed dramatically with Wellesley College moved up to third, Middlebury College and Swarthmore College tied for fourth and Bowdoin College moved down to sixth. In the second half of the top 10 Carleton College moved up one to seventh place, while formerly fourth place Pomona College dropped three to seventh. The only public school United States Naval Academy dropped out of the top 10 from ninth to 12th place.

Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education college rankings

The nation’s most selective college Stanford University is on top of the inaugural Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education college rankings. WSJ and THE released the first joint ranking of American colleges on Sept. 28, 2016, where the top ten included some of the country’s most elite universities including seven belonging to the Ivy League. Stanford is the top of not only WSJ/THE ranking but also Forbes 2016 American Top College rankings and was MONEY’s top school in 2015.

This new ranking focuses heavily on the outcomes of getting a degree from one the institutions. The ranking’s methodology looks at some factors including “salaries of graduates and debt repayment rates, school reputation, research impact, and how much a college spends to educate each student.” The WSJ also ranked universities on specific factors, “Resources (#1: Harvard University), Student Outcomes (#1: Yale University), Engagement (#1: Dordt College), Environment (#1: La Sierra University).”

World Rankings

Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)

The first major university ranking of the year released is the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR), who publishes their list way before the start of the new academic year. On July 11, 2016, the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) released their ranking of the Top 1000 Universities in the world. Harvard topped their list for the fifth time. After Harvard, the rest of the top three remains the same as last year with Stanford second and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) third.

Two British universities round out the top five as last year, with the University of Cambridge in fourth place closely followed by the University of Oxford rounding out the top five. The top 10 had little movement with one exception Yale reemerged to reclaim the tenth place after dropping to eleventh place last year, while Cornell moved back out of the top ten down to twelfth place.

The US dominated the CWUR rankings as it does with most other world university rankings. There were 224 American schools in the top 1000. The CWUR ranking shows how preeminent Asian schools are becoming globally, here they follow the US in the most school represented an honor usually reserved for the United Kingdom. There are 90 universities from China and 74 from Japan on the list with Britain in fourth with only 65 schools. The UK however, is the only other country to break American dominance in the top ten.

Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU)

The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) released their annual ranking lists on Aug. 15, 2016, with Harvard University again topping the best 500 universities in the world for the 14th year. The top ten’s schools are unchanged from last year’s rankings and consist of eight American universities and two British institutions, but they moved around in their ranking.

Stanford University remains in second place, but the University of California Berkeley, the top public school, moves up to third. The United Kingdom’s top school, the University of Cambridge, moves up one to fourth place, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology falls two to round up the top five.

In the second half of the top ten, Princeton is only the other university to maintain its spot, staying in sixth place. The University of Oxford is the greatest gainer in the top ten going up from tenth to seventh. While the California Institute of Technology Caltech, Columbia University and the University of Chicago each moved down one, to eighth, ninth, and tenth place respectively.

The United States dominates the rankings as it does with all the global lists, while the United Kingdom is in second place. The US holds 15 of the top 20 spots, the UK has three spots, but this year the usual American and British dominance are challenged with the addition of a Swiss and Japanese university. Although most of the schools in the ranking are from the US and Europe, Asian universities are seeing their numbers rise, with China and Singapore seeing one school crack the top 100 for the first time, China’s Tsinghua University is 58th, while Singapore’s National University of Singapore clocks in at 83.

QS World University Rankings

For the fifth year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is sitting on the top of the QS World University Rankings’ Top Universities. QS World University Rankings released their 2015/16 ranking on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2016, and the first time in the ranking’s history the top three is all American schools, with MIT, Stanford and Harvard University making a trifecta.

The top 10 shows an almost even balance between American and British universities with one continental European institution Switzerland’s ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at eighth place breaking up what has been for years an exclusive club. “Academic reputation” is the most important determining factor for the lists, and it is reflected by the universities represented in the ranking.

This year there are five American (MIT (1), Stanford (2), Harvard (3), Caltech (5), the University of Chicago (10)). And four British universities (Cambridge (4), Oxford (6), University College of London (7), Imperial College of London (9)) in the top 10. The top Ivy League school on the list is Harvard at №3 down one spot from last year. The 2017 ranking is the first year where a British school did not occupy one of the top three spots. Britain’s leading school, the University of Cambridge, moves down one to fourth place.

Two of the four British universities in the top 10 moved down a spot from last year, showing a troubling trend for British universities throughout the ranking. Meanwhile, there are 11 American universities in the top 20, while there are five British universities in the top 20. In this year’s edition, there are four universities outside of the US and the UK in the top 20, two from Switzerland, and two from Singapore.

The QS World University Rankings consistently includes more non-US and on-UK universities in the top 20 than any of the other international rankings. There are 81 countries represented in the ranking of 916 schools 25 more than last year’s edition. The Unites States has the most universities in the ranking top 200 with a quarter, 48 schools, Britain follows in second place with 30 of the top 200 universities.

US News and World Report 2017 Best Global Universities Rankings

Harvard University remains the top university in the world according to US News and World Report’s third annual Best Global Universities Rankings, US News released the 2017 ranking on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. The biggest international university ranking looked at the best schools by “region, country, and subject.” This year’s ranking increased the number of school from 750 to 1000 from 65 countries in the world up from 57, giving each one a score out of 100.

There was a lot of movement in the top 10 of the ranking. As for the rest of the top three, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is second, and Stanford University moves up to third. Princeton joined the top 10 moving from 13 to number on the list, while the University of Chicago dropped out of the top 10 down to number 13. The top 20 also saw some changes, 17 schools were from the US, with three from the UK including the Imperial College of London at 19. There was also a new entry to the top 20, the University of California San Francisco, a graduate school for the sciences moved up to number 17.

American universities dominated the entire ranking as they did the top 10 with 210 institutions, followed by China with 87 schools continuing the rise of Asian schools and the UK was third with 68 schools, in continental Europe Germany had 55 institutions in the ranking, while France had 49. The United Kingdom pierced the top universities with Oxford University at №6 and the University of Cambridge at №7, both moving down one spot. The US also leads in schools specializing in the arts and humanities, clinical medicine, computer science economics and business and engineering. The UK comes in second in the arts and humanities.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Politics February 2, 2017: Obama should follow the rules of the former presidents club and not criticize Trump

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POLITICS

Obama should follow the rules of the former presidents club and not criticize Trump

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Just ten days into his successor Donald Trump’s presidency and former President Barack Obama has decided to him. On Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, Obama released a statement through his spokesman praising public protests and dissent to his successor temporarily travel ban from seven predominantly Muslim nations without stable governments and halt to the Syrian refugee program. Obama broke tradition with the former presidents club, who usually chooses to avoid criticizing their successor allowing them to run the country and make their mistakes or successes, it was a model Obama’s predecessor Republican former President George W. Bush religiously upheld, making only one comment six years into Obama’s presidency. Obama’s choice to speak out imperils his legacy, historical perspective while blurring the lines of the presidency.

After Trump issued his executive order on Friday evening, Jan. 28, protests erupted at airports across the country, while lawsuits were filed and heard for those caught in the ban. The executive order halted travel to the US from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days, with nonimmigrant or immigrant visas. The order halted refugee entries for 120 days and the Syrian refugee program for an indefinite period.

The order was amended to allow entry to those with green cards, dual Canadian citizens and possibly those who worked with the US military. The order is based on the 2015 Terrorist Travel Prevention Act and its amendment in February 2016 under President Obama, which established these countries as threats because they do not have a stable government to communicate with US immigration to vet travelers. The bill created more extensive and vetting process for refugees from those countries. Obama’s bill caused little fanfare or objections.

On Monday, Obama’s spokesman issued a statement supporting the very vocal protesters, who held rallies at airports, city streets and even in front of the White House. Kevin Lewis, Obama’s spokesman, expressed in the statement, “President Obama is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country. In his final official speech as President, he spoke about the important role of citizen and how all Americans have a responsibility to be the guardians of our democracy — not just during an election but every day.”

Obama’s spokesman continued, saying, “Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.” Lewis concluded, with the sharpest rebuke to President Trump, saying, “About comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”

Former First Lady, 2016 Democratic nominee and Secretary of State under Obama, Hillary Clinton also tweeted her support, while daughter Chelsea participated in a protest in New York over the weekend. Apparently, the former president wanted his former Democratic supporters to protest as they have been doing in the little over a week Trump has been president. Former White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer told the Washington Post, “What is notable about the grass-roots response to Trump .?.?. is that it is exactly the response that President Obama called for in his farewell address.” Essentially, Obama wanted dissension to Trump’s presidency and was always planning to be critical given the new president’s campaign pledges.

Such sharp criticism by a former president of his successor is the exception rather than the rule, even more so when it occurs just over a week after leaving the office. The Washington Post, which is highly critical of Trump, even had the headline, “Obama, in a rare move for an ex-president, breaks silence to criticize Trump on immigration.”

Twice, Obama implied he would only comment on Trump’s presidency in exceptional circumstances. Two days before leaving office at his final press conference on Jan. 18, Obama said, “There’s a difference between that normal functioning of politics and certain issues or certain moments where I think our core values may be at stake.”

Obama indicated which issues would warrant his opinions, “I put in that category if I saw systematic discrimination ratified in some fashion; I put in that category explicit or functional obstacles to people being able to vote, to exercise their franchise,” Obama said. “I would put in that category, institutional efforts to silence dissent or the press. And for me at least, I would put in that category efforts to round up kids who have grown up here and for all practical purposes are American kids and send them someplace else.”

Just after the election in November, at his press conference in Lima, Obama also expressed what he would publicly say about Trump after he left office. Obama said, “I want to be respectful of the office and give the president-elect an opportunity to put forward his platform and his arguments without somebody popping off in every instance. As an American citizen who cares deeply about our country, if there are issues that have less to do with the specifics of some legislative proposal but go to core questions about our values and our ideals, and if I think that it is necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, I’ll examine it when it comes.” Obama remarks should come as no surprise, according to the Washington Post Obama organized his post-presidency office for political advocacy.

Obama however, surprised everyone by his criticism, it is unprecedented in American history for a former president to comment especially so early on in their successor’s term. Presidential historian Robert Dallek told the Washington Post, “I don’t think it’s very common at all for an ex-president to be commenting on the performance of his successor.” Obama is certainly not following the traditional and examples of most former presidents in American history.

Obama’s behavior is somewhat surprising given the respect, his predecessor George W. Bush gave to him when he embarked on the presidency. Although Obama spent much of his first term criticizing Bush and his policies, Bush never said a word to counter his successor or disparage him publicly for most of his time in office. Speaking in 2009, Bush said of Obama, “He deserves my silence. There’s plenty of critics in the arena. I think it’s time for the ex-president to tap dance off the stage and let the current president have a go at solving the world’s problems.”

Bush explained in 2014 over five years after leaving office the two reasons why he chose not say anything about the Obama presidency. Bush indicated, “I don’t think it’s good for the country to have a former president undermine a current president; I think it’s bad for the presidency for that matter.” Bush also said his reasons were personal, “Secondly, I really have had all the fame I want. I really don’t long for publicity. And the truth the matter is in order for me to generate publicity … I’d have to either attack the Republican Party, which I don’t want to do, or attack the president, which I don’t want to do. And so I’m perfectly content to be out of the limelight.”

In a 2013 interview with CNN Bush mentioned another reason why he will not criticize his successor, “I don’t think it does any good. It’s a hard job. He’s got plenty on his agenda. It’s difficult. A former president doesn’t need to make it any harder. Other presidents have taken different decisions; that’s mine.”

Bush finally broke his silence in 2015, at what was suppose to be a private event, without media coverage. Speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition and donors in Nevada, Bush criticized Obama’s Middle East policies including negotiating a deal with Iran and withdrawing troops from Iraq. Supposedly, Bush said of the Iran deal, “You think the Middle East is chaotic now? Imagine what it looks like for our grandchildren. That’s how Americans should view the deal.”

Most of the former presidents kept silent in public refusing to criticize their successors in office. Afterward, many have grown close even after contentious campaigns where they were opponents. Rivals in the 1992 campaign, Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush became close friends in 2005, as did Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford who were opponents in the 1976 election. President Harry Truman became friends with one of his predecessors; Herbert Hoover after the Republican helped the Democrat “restructure the executive branch.” Lyndon Johnson reached out to his predecessor Dwight Eisenhower after John F. Kennedy’s assassination and during the Vietnam War, and he was friends as well with Truman.

Dwight Eisenhower happens to be the best example of a recent former president not criticizing their successor, even if seems appropriate. Eisenhower never admonished his successor Democrat John F. Kennedy, even during biggest blunder the Bay of Pigs although he criticized him privately calling him “Little Boy Blue.” Afterward, Kennedy sought Eisenhower’s advice, and apparently, Kennedy admitted, “No one knows how tough this job is until he’s been in it a few months.” Eisenhower responded, “Mr. President. If you will forgive me, I think I mentioned that to you three months ago.”

Jimmy Carter has been the most vocal and critical post-World War II president criticizing three of his successors. Carter was a one-term president, with an active post-presidency. He criticized fellow Democrat Bill Clinton’s morals on the Monica Lewinsky scandal and his pardon of Marc Rich; he criticized Republican George W. Bush saying in 2007, “as far as the adverse impact on the nation around the world, this administration has been the worst in history.” Carter even was critical of Obama for how he handled North Korea and Iran. Carter’s criticism and meddling in foreign affairs made him the most disliked living former president.

Carter was not the most severe case of post-presidency criticism, that prize might go to Republican Theodore Roosevelt to his handpicked successor William Howard Taft. Taft made promises to keep Roosevelt’s cabinet and stay true to his policies but soon moved on to forge his own path. With Republican encouragement, Roosevelt mounted a campaign against Taft even winning more primaries, but Taft won the nomination after discrediting Roosevelt’s delegates.

Roosevelt, in turn, mounted a third party run with the newly formed the Progressive “Bull Moose” Party with a progressive “New Nationalism” platform. Roosevelt ended up being competitive to the Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson and secured a second place finish in the election that Wilson won, leaving Taft in the dust. Even with all the animosity, later on, Roosevelt said in 1910 after returning from an extended trip to Europe and Africa, “I will make no speeches or say anything for two months. But I will keep my mind open .?.?. As I keep my mouth shut.”

Time magazine editors and presidential historians, Nancy Gibb and Michael Duffy in 2012 book “The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity,” argue that there are usually bonds between the presidents. Gibb and Duffy write, “Such are the journeys this book attempts to trace: the intense, intimate, often hostile but more often generous relationships among the once and future presidents. It makes little difference how much they may have fought on the way to the White House; once they’ve been in the job, they are bound together by experience, by duty, by ambition, and by scar tissue.”

There are also rules including as former President George H. W. Bush has said, “No matter the politics, you know and understand the weight of the decisions the other guy had to make, and you respect that.” Gibb and Duffy indicate the two most important rules, “The Presidents Club has its protocols, including deference to the man in the chair and, for the most part, silence about how the members of the world’s most exclusive fraternity get along and the services they provide one another.”

Obama seems to be breaking with one of the most important precedents set out by the first former president George Washington. As Gibb and Duffy indicate, “but most of all to relinquish his power peacefully, even prematurely given his immense stature, at that time a striking act of submission to untested democratic principles.” Obama seems to look to incite Democrats many who have said Trump is “not their president” or claimed like Rep. John Lewis that he is “not the legitimate president.” Instead, Obama should have looked to precedent, where former presidents,
“join forces as needed, to consult, complain, console, pressure, protect, redeem.”

Obama speaking out so soon shows he is having difficulty letting go of the presidency and that confuses Democrats and his supporters who seem so adamantly against President Trump. Obama is showing too much partisanship, just after the election, and the inauguration of a new president. Gibb and Duffy say, “They can support whomever they like during campaigns; but once a new president is elected, the others often act as a kind of security detail.” The partisanship does nothing to help Obama who left the office with an average approval rating lower than the majority of post-war presidents. In the post-presidency, most former presidents reputations heal, and their popularity soars, because they stay out of the partisan fray, leaving it to the current president.

Obama needs to stop encouraging protests and chaos from his supporters and Democratic Congressional leadership, and instead look to give Trump some advice and guidance in private while letting his supporters know Trump is the president. Whether Democrats and liberals like Trump’s policies or not they need to look for effective means to make a difference rather than protesting in the streets and airports because all it seems like is lawlessness and pettiness because the Democratic Party just never accepted the election results of a president that legitimately won.

Sources:

Gibbs, Nancy, and Michael Duffy. The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2012.

Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. “Theodore Roosevelt: Campaigns and Elections.” Accessed February 1, 2017. http://millercenter.org-/president/biography/roosevelt-campaigns-and-elections.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.