Education June 1, 2018: Harvard remains on top of Times Higher Education’s World Reputation Rankings for eighth year

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EDUCATION

Harvard remains on top of Times Higher Education’s World Reputation Rankings for eighth year

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

The crown jewel of the Ivy League, Harvard University again is the world most prestigious university reputation-wise. Photo: Harvard.edu

When it comes to reputation, no university in the world can surpass Harvard, who is again the top university. On Wednesday, May 30, 2018, The Times Higher Education released their eighth annual World Reputation Rankingwith Harvard University remaining in the top spot for seven years in a row. American and universities have held steady despite concerns over Donald Trump’s presidency. British universities have not held up as well after the vote for Brexit, Britain’s exit from the European Union. Asian universities, however, have also stalled despite their recent rise.

Eight of the top 10 were American universities, with only the United Kingdom breaking up their domination. The top three remains the same as last year and are all American universities, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the second place, and Stanford University in third. British universities round out the top five with the Universities of Cambridge at fourth and Oxford down one to fifth place.

There was little movement in the middle of the top ten. The University of California, Berkeley remains in sixth place, Princeton University stays in seventh, while Yale University remains in eighth place. The big change was at the bottom of the top 10, the University of Chicago stays at ninth but now shares the position, tied with new top ten entry, the University of California, Los Angeles for ninth. The California Institute of Technology, Caltech drops off out of the top ten moving from 10th to 11th position.

The ranking is considered, “the definitive list of the world’s most prestigious universities.” Phil Baty, the rankings editor for THE, explains, “Reputation is the global currency of higher education. It may be subjective; it may not always be fair, but it matters deeply.” THE’s World Reputation Rankings “have become a major fixture in the higher education calendar — serving as a yearly global academic brand audit and attracting news headlines across the world.”

The ranking is international, with 19 countries represented in the top 100 universities. The United States has the most schools in the ranking 44 institutions represented in the top 100, 28 alone in the top 50, with Harvard the top ranking. Despite, concerns that President Donald Trump’s immigration policies would turn off international students, and affect American universities standings that have not been the case.

Baty commented on American universities standing in the world, saying, “What is particularly striking is that the U.S. has actually strengthened its position in the world… despite fears that the U.S. is suffering a ‘Trump slump’ in terms of its global reputation. While we have seen evidence that some international students are seeing the U.S. as a less attractive option, with declining applications, this data from the global academic community suggests the top U.S. universities remain the most highly regarded in the world by a mile.”

In the second place, the United Kingdom has the second most universities in the ranking, with the University of Cambridge as the country’s the top school and Oxford University also in the top five breaking up the American monopoly. The UK, however, has not fared as well as post-Brexit, exit from the European Union vote. UK universities slipped in the new ranking, from a British publication no less. Last year there were 10 schools in the top 100, this year they have nine, with Durham University falling below the top 100. Other schools saw their numbers fall, King’s College London (41st) and Edinburgh (34th), both lost one place in the ranking. While top 20 schools, University College London (18th) and Imperial College (20th), both lost two positions from last year. The London School of Economics saw the greatest loss, going from 20th to 25th place this edition.

Brexit is not the only issue plaguing, British universities, some schools did poorly in the Government’s new Teaching Excellence Framework, which looks at “quality of teaching” in high education. There have been issues and controversies on campus, which scandals and questioning the “excessive pays” for university administration, while “snowflake” students are hindering freedom of speech, and do not want to be taught controversial topics.

Alan Smithers, a professor of education at the University of Buckingham, told the Daily Mail, “This hasn’t been a good year for the reputation of the UK’s universities, with rows about pay, safe spaces and freedom of speech. We need to up our game to ensure that the falls this year are not the beginning of a trend.”

Neither is Asian universities taking over the ranking has been the trend in recent years, while American and British are getting votes from all over the world, Asian schools get their votes mostly in the region, their brands are regional only. Many schools from China and Japan have lost ground in the ranking. China has six schools in the top 100, with three of them falling the ranking, however, China’s best school’s Tsinghua and Peking Universities remain in the top 20, at 14th and 17th place as they were in 2017. Japan’s standing is in the most trouble among Asian schools, they lose one school in the top 100, going down to five. However, the highest-ranking university outside the US and UK comes from Japan with The University of Tokyo at the 13th place down from 11th last year.

Simon Marginson, an analyst and director of University College London’s Centre for Global Higher Education, claims the difference is because of “improved real performance and the reputational effects it generates.” According to Marginson, top universities in the US and the UK “earned their reputations over the whole 20th century and beyond and have not slipped in standard, so they are difficult to displace.” Asian universities including from Singapore and South Korea, “only really showed themselves as strong in the 1990s, and China’s rise is essentially post-2000.” Baty also indicates that Asian, particularly Chinese schools rose quickly, but now “stalled.” According to Baty, “This new data shows just how hard it is for emerging powers to break into the traditional global elite.”

The three Asian universities fare better than any European institutions, where the top school ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, which remains at 22, but now, tied with Canada’s University of Toronto. European universities are also “losing ground.” Germany, the European country with the most universities in the top 100 still has their six, but three of them are ranking lowered than the last edition. Australia’s universities have also dropped in the ranking, although they maintain three in the top 100, two have fallen since last year, the University of Melbourne is the top school at tied for 47th place. In the Middle East, Israel’s highest-ranking school remains the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; it enters the top 100 in the 91–100 position.

Canada has three universities in the top 100, with the University of Toronto, the country’s top school moving up from 24 to tie for 22nd position. Meanwhile, the University of British Columbia is in second place in the country moves up two spots to number 38. McGill University, which usually ranks as the top university in Canadian rankings, is only third in THE’s World Reputation Ranking of all Canadian schools, and also moves up, one place to 41st.

The rankings are entirely based on the opinion of the institutions, as THE explains, “The rankings are entirely subjective — they are based purely on an annual opinion survey.” The methodology for determining the rankings consists of sending the survey to “more than 10,000 top scholars from around the world. Each academic was asked to name up to 15 universities that they believe are the best for research and teaching in their discipline. Votes for institutions based on research prowess were given twice the weight of those for teaching.”

Top 10 World Reputation Rankings

2018 reputation rank — 2017 reputation rank — Institution Country

1, 1 Harvard University, United States,

2, 2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States

3, 3 Stanford University, United States,

4, 4 University of Cambridge, United Kingdom,

5, 5 University of Oxford, United Kingdom,

6, 6 University of California, Berkeley, United States

7, 7 Princeton University, United States, 7

8, 8 Yale University, United States, 12

=9, 13 University of California, Los Angeles

=9, 9 University of Chicago

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 over a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

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Education May 30, 2018: Harvard remains CWUR World Ranking’s top university in 2018/2019

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Harvard remains CWUR World Ranking’s top university in 2018/2019

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Photo: Harvard.edu

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 Monday, May 28, 2018, CWUR released their ranking of the Top 1000 Universities in the world, where once again Harvard remained the top university, now for the seventh year running.

The CWUR is one of only two major rankings that are not published by a western country in either the United States or the United Kingdom. CWUR is centered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Although the top schools remained the same, the ranking saw a lot of movement especially in the ranking of the countries and their individual top schools representing a changing landscape in the best global universities.

The 2018 edition is the seventh year CWUR has released their rankings; the relatively new listing first started in 2012. It includes their ranking of the Top 1000 Universities and 61 countries, the largest number. 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 second half of the top ten had a lot of movement, the University of California, Berkeley moved up one spot from seventh to sit at the sixth position. Princeton University also moved up, two spots from the ninth to the seventh position. Columbia University moved down two places to the eighth position. Only one university entered the top ten the California Institute of Technology, Caltech moving up from number 11 to the ninth place. While the University of Chicago fell two spot to round out the top ten. Yale University dropped out of the top ten this year to number 11.

The US dominated the CWUR rankings as it does with most other world university rankings; however, there are less American schools in the top 1000, last year there were 225 this year there are only 213. 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. This year’s edition there are more schools that are Asian represented, there are 108 schools from China listed, the number keep rising, with 97 in 2017 and 90 in 2016.

The United Kingdom has improved their standing, but and have lowered the number of universities represented, they have 62 schools listed down from 65, but now have the third most schools in the ranking. The UK has consistently two universities in the top ten, and they are the only other country to break American dominance. Only four universities from the 24 that are part of the Russell Group fell in the ranking.

The UK rise in the country ranking has more to do with Japan losing ground that any improvement in their standing. In the past three ranking Japan’s number of schools represented has dwindled. Currently Japan has 56 schools in the list down from 71 in 2017 and 74 in 2016. Still, Japan has the first school to make the global list outside of the US and the UK with the University of Tokyo up one to at number 12, which also the top ranking Asian school.

France this year takes third place in the world with 58 schools featured, and the Sorbonne University as their top school coming in the top 30 at 29 and replacing École Polytechnique for the honor.

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 university ranking from the European continent is Switzerland’s Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, which ranks at 28th down one from last year. In Oceania, Australia has the top school with the University of Melbourne at 57, replacing the University of Sydney for the top place.

Canada is only the fourth country to reach the top 20, with the University of Toronto at 17th place moving up from 28 last year. Overall, Canada is in 10th place with 28 universities on the list, but all their top school moving up; the University of Toronto also remains Canada’ top school again this year. McGill retains their position in second place ranking at 37th up from 41 last year. At their heels is third place the University of British Columbia at number 38 up from 55 in the last edition.

In the Middle East, the Weizmann Institute of Science replaces the Hebrew University of Jerusalem as the Middle East and Israel’s highest-ranking university. The title is hardly a victory, the Weizmann Institute ranks at number 45 down from 39 last year. Hebrew University fell over 30 places from 27th last year to just 61st this year. Hebrew U usually ranks as Israel’s top university. Israel has one other school in the top 100 is the Tel Aviv University at 85. Israel has seven schools represented in the ranking.

The key to their methodology is objectivity; all the seven indicators are backed by solid, quantifiable statistics emphasizing graduate success and faculty research. The seven factors are “quality of teaching, alumni employment, quality of faculty, research output, quality publications, influence, and citations.” This year CWUR revised their methodology with “research now accounting for 70% of the total score.” 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.”

Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) top 10:

1. Harvard University (1)

2. Stanford University (2)

3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (3)

4. University of Cambridge (4)

5. University of Oxford (5)

6. University of California, Berkeley (7)

7. Princeton University (9)

8. Columbia University (6)

9. California Institute of Technology (11)

10. University of Chicago (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 over a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Education March 15, 2018: MIT releases Class of 2022 admissions rate record low admitted

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MIT releases Class of 2022 admissions rate record low admitted

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

MIT released their lowest admission rate yet 6.7 percent for the Class of 2022 (Source: mit.edu)

Pie day, Wednesday, March 14, 2018, has arrived and that means the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has released that admissions rate for the Class of 2022. This year, MIT released their lowest number on record, continuing the trend of lower admission rates among Ivy League and elite universities. MIT admitted only 1,464 high school seniors out of the 21,706 that applied this cycle, making the admissions rate one of the university’s most selective at only 6.7 percent. This year’s number is lower than last year’s 7.1 percent admission rate by 0.4 percent. For the Class of 2021, MIT admitted 1,438 students out of the 20,247 that applied both the early action and regular admission cycles. This year, MIT received an increasing number of applications, up by over 1,500 from last year, as more universities see more students apply.

In announcing their admissions for the Class of 2022, MIT boasted the diverse nature of their upcoming freshman class. Chris Peterson, an Assistant Director of Admissions announced, “The admitted Class of 2022 includes archers and architects, fangirls and farmhands, whizzkids and wunderkinds, from Australia to Zimbabwe and everywhere in between. Individually they represent more than 60 countries and 1,000 high schools; together, they constitute an incredible community, each contributing a set of rare skills and perspectives while holding in common the highest caliber of cognition and character.”

Of all the elite and Ivy League universities that released their early admission data in December 2017, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) had the lowest acceptance rate for the second year in a row. On Thursday, Dec. 14, MIT sent out 664 early action offers of admission to high school seniors for a place in the Class of 2022. This year MIT received a record 9,557 applications, and their acceptance rate was a record low as well at only 6.9 percent. Of those that applied 65 percent, 6,210 students were deferred for the regular cycle, 26.1 percent, 2498 students were rejected; the remaining applicants withdrew from consideration.

For the Class of 2021, In December 2016, MIT had an acceptance rate of 7.8 percent after receiving a then-record 8,394 applications, which had been up 13.9 percent from the previous year. At the regular admission cycle, MIT admitted at 1,438 students out of 20,247 applications received. MIT is one of the most selective colleges, with corresponding acceptance rates. This was the third year MIT opened their early action admissions to international applicants. The rest of the elite universities and Ivy League universities will release their Class of 2022 admissions data at the end of the month with Stanford University and Harvard College among the most selective schools in the country, but considering MIT’s lowering numbers they will be on the running for the most selective title.
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 December 19, 2017: Ivy League, elite schools’ early admission acceptance rates for Class of 2022 MIT has lowest on record, Dartmouth the highest

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Ivy League, elite schools’ early admission acceptance rates for Class of 2022 MIT has lowest on record, Dartmouth the highest

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

(Source: Harvard Admissions Twitter)

As universities and colleges completed sending out their early admissions offers for the Class of 2022 to hopeful high school seniors let us look at the continuing trend of record low acceptance rates among the Ivy League and most elite universities. Only six of the eight Ivy League universities released data on their early decision and early action cycle. Of the Ivies, Cornell University and Columbia University chose to withhold their data; however, Columbia released the number of applications they received. For the second year in a row, Stanford University, the country’s most selective college refused to release any early admission data. Like last year, they will release their data only after the regular admission cycle when they have finalized all their offers for admission to the Class of 2022.

As has been the trend, Ivy League, and elite universities are becoming more selective, and their early admission rates are falling after receiving a record number of applications. This year is no different the Ivy League and elite universities are continuing the trend and are on track for their most selective year as they choose the Class of 2022. Harvard was the most selective Ivy this early admission cycle, with a 14.5 percent acceptance rate. However, another elite university beat Harvard’s selectivity this early admission cycle. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) had the lowest rate, with a record low 6.9 percent of applicants accepted to the Class of 2022. Dartmouth College on the opposite end had the highest acceptance rate with 24.9 percent.

The Ivy League:

Brown University

On Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, at 5 p.m. Brown University admitted 738 students as part of their binding early decision program to the Class of 2022. This year the Ivy League school saw their largest number of applications for the early admission cycle, with 3502 high school seniors applying, 10 percent more than last year. Although Brown has, a higher acceptance rate than the Ivy League schools, it was a low for them, and Brown’s acceptance rate was only 21 percent for the Class of 2022.

In December 2016 as part of early decision admission for the Class of 2021, Brown accepted 695 applicants out of 3,170 applications for an acceptance rate of 21.9 percent. Brown set a record low for the Class of 2021 admissions. Last year Brown had a “record-low” 8.3 acceptance rate, admitting 2,027 applicants for their new freshmen class with just a 6.5 acceptance rate for regular decision. Brown saw a record 32,724 applications.

Columbia University

On Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, instead of releasing their early decision data, Columbia University only released the number of applications they received this cycle. That evening at 7 p.m. Columbia notified high school seniors whether they would be joining the Class of 2022. This year Columbia received 4,085 early decision applications to Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, just one less than for the Class of 2021.

For the Class of 2021, Columbia College had a lower acceptance rate, representing just 5.8 percent of their applicant pool. Columbia admitted just 2,185 from a record 37,389 applicants. For the Class of 2020, Columbia had a 6.04% acceptance rate, with 2,193 students accepted out of 36,292 applicants. Columbia is notorious for divulging the least information of all the Ivies about their incoming freshmen class only releasing more data for the upcoming application year.

Dartmouth College

On Thursday, Dec. 14, Dartmouth College sent out binding early decision acceptance notifications to 565 high school seniors, the smallest number of students of all the Ivy League schools. The college received a record number of applications, 2,270 applications, the first time the school had over 2,000 applications for the early admissions cycle. The college also had their lowest acceptance rate since the 2010 cycle with 24.9 percent; still, that percentage was the largest of all the Ivies. Dartmouth has filled up 47 percent of the Class of 2022 with those accepted for early decision.

In December 2016 as part of the early decision program for the Class of 2021, Dartmouth accepted 555 applicants out of 1,999 applications for an acceptance rate of 27.8 percent. Dartmouth College had one of their most selective years, accepting 2,092 students into the Class of 2021 out of 20,034 applications with an acceptance rate 10.4 percent, the second largest in the Ivy League. Dartmouth called last year’s class “the most academically accomplished and globally diverse class the College has ever accepted.”

Harvard University

Harvard College notified students by email on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2017, at 5 p.m. if they were accepted to the Class of 2022, rejected or waitlisted. Harvard admitted just 964 students to early action out of 6,630 applicants, an admission rate of just 14.5 percent to their early admissions program. Harvard is the most selective Ivy League college, and the elite Stanford University only beats it in the country.

In December 2016, Harvard admitted their lowest number of early applicants, accepting just 938 students out of 6,473 applications to their early admissions program for the Class of 2021. Their admissions represented just 14.5 percent of the applicant pool down only 0.3 percent from 2015. In total for the Class of 2021, Harvard admitted 2,056 students out of a record of 39,506 applicants, to have a 5.2 percent acceptance rate. Harvard admitted nearly the same percentage of early applicants as last year a 14.53 acceptance rate this year versus a 14.49 percent rate last year an addition of less than a half percentage point.

Princeton University

On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, at 3 pm, Princeton University sent out early action admission offers to 799 lucky school seniors to the Class of 2022. Princeton had a record number of applications this early action cycle with 5,402 applications with 8 percent more than last year and 57 percent more applications than six years ago in 2011. Because of the number of applicants, Princeton’s acceptance rate was a record low with only 14.7 percent of student accepted down from last year’s 15.4 percent.

In December 2016, Princeton accepted 770 applicants out of 5,003 applications for an acceptance rate of 15.4 percent as part of the “single-choice early action” program. Princeton first offered early action admission seven years ago. Students can only apply to Princeton in the early admission cycle, but they can notify the college of their decision by May 1. As Princeton points out the landscape now is radically different from 2011 when the college accepted 21.1 percent of early action applicants. Princeton’s acceptance rate for the Class of 2021 was “the lowest in school history.” The University invited just 6.1 percent of applicants to join the University, 1,890 students out of a “record” 31,056 applicants.

University of Pennsylvania

On Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, at 7 p.m. Ivy League school the University of Pennsylvania sent out 1,312 early decision offers of admission for the Class of 2022. This year Penn received a record number of applications, 7,074 students applied, and 15 percent more to the early decision program for the Class of 2021. As result, the college has its record lowest early admission rate in history at just 18.5 percent down from last year’s 23.2 percent.

The acceptance rate for the Class of 2022 is the lowest in the school’s history, still, the university did not actually admit that much fewer students than last year. Penn admitted 1,312 students this year and last year they accepted 1,354 students. Penn admits over half of the freshmen class through their early decision program. As the student paper, the Daily Pennsylvanian noted, “Last year approximately 55 percent of the total 2,445 spots available were filled by Early Decision applicants.”

In December 2016, Penn sent notifications to 1,364 students that they were accepted as part of the early decision program with a nearly 24 percent acceptance rate. The university targeted goal of 2,445 students enrolling in the fall. Last year, Penn hailed their Class of 2021 acceptance rate as the lowest in history, accepting 3,699 students from 40,413 applicants for “a record-low 9.15 percent acceptance rate.”

Yale University

On Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, at 5 p.m. Yale notified the Class of 2022their decisions on their early action admissions. This year Yale admitted only 842 students, the least out of all the Ivies, out of a record number 5,733 applications. The acceptance rate this early admission cycle was the second lowest of all the Ivies at only 14.7 percent behind Harvard’s 14.5 percent and the same as Princeton’s 14.7 percent.

Yale admitted fewer students than last year’s early admission. In December 2016, as part of early admission, Yale accepted 871 applicants out of 5,086 applications for an acceptance rate of 17.1 percent. Additionally, 1,181 students were placed on the waitlist. In previous years, Yale used to receive only about 4,700 applications each early admission cycle. Of all the Ivies, only Yale University increased the number of students they accepted for the Class of 2021, because of the two new residential colleges that are opening this fall. Yale admitted 1550 students to the Class of 2021 regular cycle. Yale accepted 2,272 students out of “record” 32,900 applicants, making a 6.9 percent acceptance rate.

Elite Universities:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Of all the elite and Ivy League universities that released their early admission data, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) had the lowest acceptance rate for the second year in a row. On Thursday, Dec. 14, MIT sent out 664 early action offers of admission to high school seniors for a place in the Class of 2022. This year MIT received a record 9,557 applications, and their acceptance rate was a record low as well at only 6.9 percent. Of those that applied 65 percent, 6,210 students were deferred for the regular cycle, 26.1 percent, 2498 students were rejected; the remaining applicants withdrew from consideration.

For the Class of 2021, In December 2016, MIT had an acceptance rate of 7.8 percent after receiving a then-record 8,394 applications, which had been up 13.9 percent from the previous year. At the regular admission cycle, MIT admitted at 1,438 students out of 20,247 applications received. MIT is one of the most selective colleges, with corresponding acceptance rates. This was the third year MIT opened their early action admissions to international applicants.

Early decision is binding, meaning a student who applies and then is accepted is required to attend the university or college, while early action is non-binding, a student can be accepted and then decide against going to that particular school and can turn down their admission offer. Applying for early admission is not without its risks either, some schools have policies where if a student is rejected in the early admission cycle, cannot reapply for regular admission, however, some universities who do not accept students that applied for early admission, automatically consider them for regular admission.

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 July 9, 2017: Harvard and MIT the best universities for the highest earning majors

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New guides to picking the best major at the best university

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

The seventh annual QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017 had Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) dominate the rankings as the leading universities for a combined 27 subjects including some of the highest earning majors. Wikipedia Commons

The college admission process seems to be preoccupied with university rankings catering to high school seniors choosing the best university they can be admitted to, but choosing a major is equally important if not more for success after graduation. While rankings look at the best universities, recent lists also look at the best majors and the leading universities to matriculate. Michigan State University’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute (CERI) released in October 2016 their 2016–17 Recruiting Trends, which looks at the starting salaries for each major, helping students identify the best moneymakers. QS Quacquarelli Symonds released in March 2017 their World University Rankings by Subject 2017 listing the preeminent universities for particular majors. The seventh annual list had Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) dominate the rankings as the leading universities for a combined 27 majors.

The Michigan State University’s Collegiate Employment Research Institute annual recruiting trends lists the starting salaries of particular college degree majors from the associate level to the doctorate level emphasizing individual majors at the bachelor’s level. As Forbes explained, “Nearly 200 career service centers in the United States participated in the study and 4,350 employers provided information for the report, which includes data on full-time positions, internships, and co-op jobs.”

Forbes went further ranking these majors with the highest and lowest starting salaries. The vast majority of top earners are STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering and Medical degrees, particularly technology and engineering. Electrical engineering, software design, and chemical engineering are the top three degrees for highest starting salaries with graduates on average earning over $60,000 their first year on the job. Chemical Engineering was last year’s top earning degree.

Top ten highest starting salaries degrees:

1 Electrical Engineering: Average starting salary $62,428. Starting salary range $25,000 to #130,000
2 Software Design: Average starting salary $61,466. Starting salary range $25,000 to #134,000
3 Chemical Engineering: Average starting salary $61,125. Starting salary range $31,000 to #125,000
4 Computer Engineering: Average starting salary $61,092. Starting salary range $15,000 to #130,000
5 Mechanical Engineering: Average starting salary $59,610. Starting salary range $15,000 to #134,000
6 Computer Programming: Average starting salary $59,163. Starting salary range $15,000 to #130,000
7 Information Security Systems: Average starting salary $58,798. Starting salary range $19,000 to #123,000
8 Computer Science: Average starting salary $57,762. Starting salary range $15,000 to #130,000
9 Management Information Systems: Average starting salary $57,301. Starting salary range $15,000 to #122,000
10 Technical Engineering: Average starting salary $55,693. Starting salary range $15,000 to #132,000

While STEM majors dominate the highest earners, the Humanities, Social Sciences and Education have lowest earning starting salaries all earning less than $40,000 a year. Early Childhood Education has the lowest starting salary, followed by social work and then anthropology and sociology. Most of the humanities and social science majors listed as the bottom earners require graduate degrees for better positions and higher earnings.

Bottom ten lowest starting salaries degrees:
Pre-K & Kindergarten Education — $35,626
Social work — $37,115
Anthropology/Sociology — $37,672
Elementary education — $37,803
Special education — $38,002
Psychology — $38,079
English — $38,303
History — $38,361

In graduate and professional degrees, the same holds true STEM careers and graduate degrees reign supreme. Business including the coveted MBA and Law degrees are also high earners. Among the master’s degrees, the top three earners are computer science and engineering, as they are top earners at the undergraduate level. The Masters in Business Administration (MBA) comes in third, breaking up the undergraduate STEM monopoly. The top three all have starting salaries above $60,000 a year.

When it comes to doctorate and professional degrees STEM degrees and law dominate the top three, but this time a health science, pharmacy is the top earner. In second are computer science and engineering, while the law is third. The top three subject areas see starting salaries of $74,000 and above. The bottom end earners in the masters, doctoral and professional degrees are the social sciences and humanities subjects just as they were at the bachelor’s level. The only differences are the average starting salaries, at the masters level is just over 48,000, while at the doctoral level is over $58,000 a year, $20,000 more than just stopping at a degree at the bachelor’s level.

Master’s Degrees & MBAs

Computer science: $72,071 $15,000 — $145,000
Engineering: $69,729 $20,000 — $200,000
MBA: $62,700 $10,000 — $151,000
Physical & biological sciences: $59,204 $10,000 — $200,000
Accounting: $58,159 $10,000 — $144,000
LIR/HR: $58,125 $10,000 — $127,000
Health sciences: MS & MSW $53,283 $10,000 — $175,000
Social sciences: MA & MS $48,697 $10,000 — $150,000

PhD and Professional Degrees

Starting Salaries — PhD & Professional
Selected major Average Range
Pharmacy: $89,725 $20,000 — $146,000
Engineering & computer science: $77,811 $20,000 — $168,000
Law: $74,130 $20,000 — $200,000
Physical & biological sciences: $73,422 $20,000 — $141,000
Business: $67,578 $20,000 — $188,000
Social sciences & humanities: $58,897 $16,000 — $123,000

To complement the high-earning majors are the QS Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings by Subject 2017, which lets students know the best schools for their chosen major. QS World University Rankings’ annual list included the rankings for 46 subjects. Harvard was deemed the best university, landing on the top of the most subjects, and 15 majors. MIT came in a close second where they led the lists of 12 subjects. The results are a reversal to QS World University Rankings in 2017 and the latest for 2018, where MIT was the top ranking university for the last six years, whereas Harvard has remained in third place for the last two years. The University of Oxford is in third place topping the rankings of four subjects.

QS subject rankings not only lists the top majors, but also subject areas. MIT is the best school for high earning engineering and technology degrees followed by Stanford University in second and Cambridge in third. Harvard is the preeminent place for the Life Sciences & Medicine, Cambridge is second with Oxford third. MIT ranks as the leading school for the Natural Sciences, Cambridge is again second, while Harvard comes in at third. Harvard is again on the top as the leading university for the Social Sciences and Management. British schools again are the runner-ups with the London School of Economics (LSE) in second and Oxford third. For the Arts & Humanities, Oxford, the preeminent school for the classics is tops, followed by the University of Cambridge and Harvard in third.

The 46 subject rankings include “1127 universities from 74 countries” and are supposed to be “the most comprehensive global overview of higher education performance at discipline level.” This year QS added four additional subject rankings, “Anatomy & Physiology, Hospitality, Sports-related Subjects, and Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies.” There were only six subjects seeing new leaders this year notably as University World News indicates, “Mathematics, where MIT has taken over from the University of Cambridge, and history, where Harvard is the new leader.” Additionally, “development studies, the University of Sussex is now top, and archaeology, which is another of Oxford’s successes.”

The only school from continental Europe to top a subject list is ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology for the Earth and marine sciences, who currently the only European school in the top ten at ten in the 2018 World University Rankings. In Australasia, the University of Sydney tops the Sports-related subjects. Canada does not have a university leading any of the subjects, but McGill University, the number 32 in the World University Ranking is third in Anatomy. However, the University of Toronto, QS’ top Canadian university at number 31 for the world ranking did the best in Canada ranking in “the top ten for six subjects.” Eastern European schools are also faring better in the rankings particularly those from Russia.

The rise of Asian schools in world rankings continues with their positions in the subject rankings. Only one Asian school, however, the University of Hong Kong tops a subject list with Dentistry. Singapore has the most top 20 placements of all Asian countries. With the rise of Asian schools, there is a decline of American and British schools in the rankings, although American schools still dominate the top spots.

Ben Sowter, head of research at the QS Intelligence Unit, who also compiled the ranking, commented on the shift. Sowter noted, “We observe nations in both Eastern Europe and Asia — most notably Russia and China — increasing their overall share. However, the upper echelons of the tables remain dominated by the US and UK, and this seems likely to continue for the foreseeable future.” Sowter, however, pointed out, “It seems certain that Asia’s leading institutions will continue to strongly displace the second tier of North American and European institutions.”

As with their World University Rankings QS relied on citations and surveys to compile their subject rankings, which is based on three major indicators “academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact.” For the ranking QS used their data from Scopus, “the world’s largest database of research abstracts and citations.” To determine the leading universities in certain subjects 43 million academic research papers with 144 million citations were analyzed. Additionally, to determine the reputation component QS used 305,000 “survey responses” from academics and 194,000 from employers.

QS World Rankings by Subject 2017

Accounting & Finance — Harvard
Agriculture & Forestry — Wageningen University
Anatomy & Physiology — Oxford
Anthropology — Harvard
Archaeology — Oxford
Architecture — MIT
Art & Design- Royal College of Art
Biological Sciences — Harvard
Business & Management Studies — Harvard
Chemistry — MIT
Communication & Media Studies — University of Southern California
Computer Science & Information Systems — MIT
Dentistry — University of Hong Kong
Development Studies — University of Sussex
Earth & Marine Sciences- ETH Zurich
Economics & Econometrics — MIT
Education — UCL Institute of Education
Engineering — Chemical — MIT
Engineering — Civil & Structural — MIT
Engineering — Electrical — MIT
Engineering — Mechanical — MIT
Engineering — Mining & Mineral — Colorado School of Mines
English Language & Literature — Oxford
Environmental Sciences — University of California, Berkeley
Geography — Oxford
History — Harvard
Hospitality — University of Nevada
Law — Harvard
Linguistics — MIT
Materials Science — MIT
Mathematics — MIT
Medicine — Harvard
Modern Languages — Harvard
Nursing — University of Pennsylvania
Performing Arts — Juilliard School
Pharmacy & Pharmacology — Harvard
Philosophy — University of Pittsburgh
Physics & Astronomy — MIT
Politics & International Studies — Harvard
Psychology — Harvard
Social Policy & Administration — Harvard
Sociology — Harvard
Sports-related Subjects — Loughborough University; University of Sydney
Statistics & Operational Research — Harvard
Theology — Harvard
Veterinary Science — University of California, Davis

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 July 9, 2017: MIT remains the world’s best UK slides in 2018 QS World University Rankings

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By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

For the sixth consecutive time, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is sitting on the top of the QS World University Rankings’ Top Universities, MIT.edu

The 2018 university ranking season is getting an early start as Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) pushed up the release of their annual world university rankings. For the sixth year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is sitting on the top of the QS World University Rankings’ annual Top Universities. QS World University Rankings released their 2018 edition on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, and for the first time in the ranking’s history the top four are all American schools, with MIT, Stanford, Harvard University and the California Institute of Technology sweeping the top spots.

Meanwhile, Brexit is affecting British universities with 51 institutions losing ground in the rankings by at least one spot. There are 76 British universities in this year’s ranking. As QS indicates, “This includes 11 of the 16 ranked Russell Group universities.” The top ranking British university comes in only in fifth place with Cambridge University, which fell by one spot from last year. Cambridge is followed by Oxford, which holds on to the sixth place, UCL, the University College of London also holds on to the seventh place. The last British school to rank in the top ten is the Imperial College of London, which falls one to land in ninth place.

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 tenth place falling two spots, but still breaking up what had been for years an exclusive club dominated by the Americans and British. “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 (4), the University of Chicago (9)). And four British universities (Cambridge (5), 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 remaining in the same place for two years in a row. For the second year, a British school does not occupy one of the top three spots and now four spots. Britain’s leading school, the University of Cambridge, moves down, one to fifth 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 include 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 959 schools 25 more than last year’s edition. The United States has the most universities in the ranking top 200 with a quarter, 48 schools, Great 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, mostly 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. Additionally, British universities have been suffering from funding cuts.

The top university outside the UK is Switzerland’s ETH Zürich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology moves down two from number 8 to 10. ETH Zurich is considered “the top university in continental Europe” in many worlds and global rankings. The top Asian University is now NanyangTechnological University (NTU) in Singapore at number 11 moving up two from last year and bumping The National University of Singapore (NUS) from the top Asian university. NUS moved down, three to number 15. Australia’s Australian National University is the top ranking university from the Australasia region moving up two to reach the top 20 at number 20.

Universities in emerging economies countries continue to rise in the rankings. China has six universities in the top 100, up from four. India has three schools featured in the top 200. The Universidad de Buenos Aires is Latin America’s top school coming at number 75. Russia also tops the top 100 for the first time with Lomonosov Moscow State University at number 95.

Canada features three universities in the top 50; the same three universities are Canada’s top institutions in all international rankings. McGill University loses its top spot in Canada falling two to number 32. The University of Toronto is now Canada top university in the QS ranking after it moved up five from number 36 to 31. Although McGill ranks first in Canadian rankings in international ones the University of Toronto usual takes that honor. Canada’s third university in the top 100, the University of British Columbia tumbled in the ranking down seven from number 45 to 52.

Ben Sowter, head of research at the QS Intelligence Unit, who also compiled the ranking, explained why MIT dominates the ranking. Sowter remarked in the official press release, “MIT is the nucleus of an unrivaled innovation ecosystem. Companies created by its alumni enjoyed combined revenues of $2 trillion, making them the equivalent of the world’s 11th largest economy. However, their continued dominance at the top should not obscure a changing landscape elsewhere, with other US and UK institutions making way for the best of Russia, China, and India — among others.”

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 an 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. A recent article from “The Online Citizen” called the “QS ranking downright shady and unethical.” The article questioned the results, the methodology and those chosen to respond to the surveys used to compile the data. The author claims the ranking has an anti-American bias in favor of European and Asian universities. The author found particular issue with Asian universities outranking Ivy League universities” Princeton, Cornell, Yale, and Columbia” and prestigious public and private schools like Johns Hopkins and UC Berkeley. The author questioned the disproportionate percentage of surveys coming from small countries while only 10 percent of respondents came from the US.

The World University Rankings list looks at over 950 schools. The ranking includes some sub-lists looking at more specific issues or geographic areas including; By FacultyAsiaLatin AmericaBRICS countries; Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Best Student CitiesBy Subject, and also the top 50 universities under 50 years old.

QS World University Rankings Top Universities 2017/18 top 10:

1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States (1)
2 Stanford University, United States (2)
3 Harvard University, United States (3)
4 California Institute of Technology (Caltech), United States (5)
5 University of Cambridge, United Kingdom (4)
6 University of Oxford, United Kingdom (5)
7 UCL (University College London), United Kingdom (7)
8 Imperial College London, United Kingdom (9)
9 University of Chicago, United States (10)
10 ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland (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 June 15, 2017: Harvard again tops Times Higher Education’s World Reputation Rankings for seventh-year

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Harvard again tops Times Higher Education’s World Reputation Rankings for seventh-year

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

The crown jewel of the Ivy League, Harvard University again is the world most prestigious university reputation wise. Photo: Harvard.edu 

When it comes to reputation, no university in the world can surpass Harvard, who is again the top university. On Thursday, June 14, 2017, The Times Higher Education released their seventh annual World Reputation Ranking with Harvard University remaining in the top spot for six years in a row. The top three are all American universities, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the second place, and Stanford University in third. British universities round out the top five with the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford both tied for fourth place.

There was little movement in the top 10. There was one big change The University of Chicago moves up two into the top 10 and the ninth spot bumping out Ivy League Columbia University, which falls from ninth to 12th place. The only other change is the University of Oxford moves up to tie with fellow British school The University of Cambridge.

Otherwise, Harvard remains on top as Forbes points out, “Harvard can, as of this month, claim another distinction: the most reputable institution of higher learning on Earth-an honor it has enjoyed for the past six years.” For the six of the past seven years; MIT has been in second place. Eight of the top 10 were American universities, including Stanford University, Princeton University, Yale University, the University of California, Berkeley, the California Institute of Technology and new entry the University of Chicago.

The ranking is considered, “the definitive list of the world’s most prestigious universities.” Phil Baty, the rankings editor for THE, explains, “Reputation is the global currency of higher education. It may be subjective; it may not always be fair, but it matters deeply.” THE’s World Reputation Rankings “have become a major fixture in the higher education calendar — serving as a yearly global academic brand audit and attracting news headlines across the world.”

The ranking is international, with 19 countries represented in the top 100 universities. The United States has the most schools in the ranking but one less this year, with 42 institutions represented and Harvard the top ranking. American universities, however, are seeing a decline, with 20 schools falling in the ranking and only eight improving their positions. In the second place, the United Kingdom has the second most universities with 10, and the University of Cambridge and Oxford University tied at fourth, as the country’s the top school.

The THE is blaming Donald Trump being elected President of the United States and Brexit, for American and British schools losing prestige. THE rankings editor, Phil Baty pointed out about American institutions’ decline, “Claiming 42 places in the top 100 list (one fewer than last year), the US is the most-represented country in the table. But it will have to watch out for the rise of Asia as several of the continent’s higher education stars overtake well-established American powerhouses. Overall 20 of the U.S.’s 42 representatives have declined since last year and only eight have improved; the rest are stagnant.”

The other factor is the rise of Asian universities. The top Asian university is the University of Japan sitting at number 11, barely outside the top ten. There are also two other Asian schools in the top 20, China’s Tsinghua University and Peking University at the number 14 and 17 positions. Since 2011, Tsinghua moved up 21 spots, while Peking moved up 26 spots, both incredible leaps.

As THE indicates the University of Japan ranks higher than Ivy League Columbia University, and that Tsinghua University and Peking University are leading Imperial College London, the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University, two Ivy League universities and a prestigious British school. THE writer Ellie Bothwell comments in the press release, “China’s Tsinghua University and Peking University both leapfrogged the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University in the table this year while the University of Tokyo now has a stronger reputation than Columbia University. Meanwhile, Seoul National University is now considered more prestigious than the University of California, Davis.”

The three Asian universities fare better than any European institutions, where the top school ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich is only 22. European universities are also “losing ground” to Asian schools. China has six schools in the top 100 and Japan also has six ranking as does Germany, the European country with the most universities in the top 100. Both China and Japan had each one more school ranking in the top 100 than last year, while in 2015’s ranking, Japan and China had only two universities each in the top 100.

Canada has three universities in the top 100, with the University of Toronto, the country’s top school falls one to number 24. Meanwhile, the University of British Columbia is in second place in the country drops three spots to number 40. McGill University, which usually ranks as the top university in Canadian rankings, is only third in THE’s World Reputation Ranking of all Canadian schools, and also lost ground moving down three spots to tie for number 42 with the University of California, San Francisco, and LMU Munich.

The rankings are entirely based on the opinion of the institutions, as THE explains, “The rankings are entirely subjective — they are based purely on an annual opinion survey.” The methodology for determining the rankings consists of sending the survey to “more than 10,000 top scholars from around the world. Each academic was asked to name up to 15 universities that they believe are the best for research and teaching in their discipline. Votes for institutions based on research prowess were given twice the weight of those for teaching.”

THE’s Reputation Ranking mirrors THE’s World University Rankings in that most of the top 10 are the same but in vastly different spots. The biggest difference is that Yale University is included within the Reputation Ranking’s top 10, but misses it as 12th place in the World Ranking. While ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, which is number 9 in the world ranking is absent from the Reputation Ranking top 10 and does not even hit the top 20. The World Ranking is far more objective than the perception of reputation and relies on factors including “teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.”

Top 10 World Reputation Rankings

2017 reputation rank — 2016 reputation rank — Institution Country — 2016–17 WUR position

1, 1 Harvard University, United States, 6
2, 2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States 5
3, 3 Stanford University, United States, 3
4, 4 University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, 4
4, 5 University of Oxford, United Kingdom, 1
6, 6 University of California, Berkeley, United States, 10
7, 7 Princeton University, United States, 7
8, 8 Yale University, United States, 12
9, 11 University of Chicago 10
10, 9 California Institute of Technology, United States, 2

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: 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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EDUCATION

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

HEADLINE NEWS

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EDUCATION

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.