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 September 27, 2017: Harvard tops the 2018 Wall Street Journal, Times Higher Education second annual US college ranking

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EDUCATION

Harvard tops the 2018 Wall Street Journal, Times Higher Education second annual US college ranking

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Harvard University is replacing the country’s most selective university Stanford as the nation’s top university and is again regaining the preeminent top position in the public’s eyes. Wikipedia Commons 

Another ranking has returned America’s crown jewel Harvard University to the top of university rankings charts. In their second edition, The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education college rankings named Harvard University their best college beating out last year’s school Stanford University as the rivalry between the two most selective universities in the country continues in this year’s ranking season. WSJ and THE released their second annual joint ranking of American colleges on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017. The top ten included some of the country’s most elite universities including six belonging to the Ivy League. Harvard is regaining control in national rankings also topping Forbes American Top College in 2017 for the first time.

Besides Harvard, there are six other schools in the Northeast in the top ten including five more from the Ivy League. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and ivies Columbia, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Cornell reign the top ten. Only three schools outside the elite location made the top ten including two from California, Stanford, the California Institute of Technology and North Carolina’s Duke University representing the South. Harvard gained ground in the engagement and environment categories boosting it back to the top of the rankings. Stanford lost ground and first place in the resources and outcomes categories.

The top ten has changed around drastically since the WSJ/THE Inaugural ranking with Harvard moving up from second place to number one and former top school Stanford slides to third place. In second is Columbia University who moves up from fifth, three spots to second place. Stanford does not have the third place alone it shares it with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who moves down one from last year. Rounding out the top five is Duke University moving up two to the fifth spot.

In the second half of the top ten Yale University remains in the sixth place. The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is the only new school in the top ten moving up five spots from 12 to seventh place. The University of Pennsylvania moves down four to eighth place. US News and World Report’s Best College Princeton University remains at the ninth place. Cornell University completes the top ten moving down two spots. Last year’s tenth place school Northwestern University moved out of the top ten tumbling to number 15 in the ranking.

The majority of the schools in the top 30 are private, as well as the entire top 10. The only public schools in the top 30 are the University of California-Los Angeles, which is the top ranking public school this year coming in at №25 and last year’s top public school the University of Michigan at №27. UCLA moved up three from №28 last year, while Michigan moves down five from №22. Rounding out the top three public schools are the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill falling three out of the top 30 to №33.

Public schools in general did not fare well in the rankings with 80 out of the bottom 100 being public universities. Phil Baty, Editorial Director, Global Rankings, Times Higher Education sees this as a “serious” problem in the US, “The fact that there are only two publics in the top 30 is part of the narrative that there is a crisis in public higher education. We are seeing some real challenges in terms of resources, and I think this kind of inequality, this defunding of great American public schools, is a serious issue.” This issue is important because public schools are the ones accepting more racially and socioeconomically diverse students than private colleges, particularly the California state system. As Baty notes, “It’s an incredible story of access. But again, the schools with the greatest access are starved of funds. The privates are less inclusive.”

The WSJ/THE ranking is one of the many rankings that now focuses heavily on the outcomes of getting a degree from one the institutions on their list, as Return on Investment (ROI) takes center stage in more rankings. This year WSJ emphasized their ranking examines “how well a college will prepare students for life after graduation.” What sets the WSJ/ THE ranking apart is the survey that asks “the extent to which they felt engaged in their education.” Last year, 10,000 participated in the survey, this year, 109,000 were involved.

The methodology includes four main categories and 15 individual factors. WSJ explains the methodology’s marking system, “40 per cent of each school’s overall score comes from student outcomes, including a measure of graduate salaries, 30 per cent from the school’s academic resources, 20 per cent from how well it engages its students and 10 per cent from the diversity of its students and staff.”

Some factors included in the ranking are the “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.” This year WSJ/THE added a new factor, “graduates’ ability to repay student debt” in their methodology under the outcomes category. Over 1,000 colleges were included in the ranking.

Expanding from last year, the WSJ/THE has six other rankings in addition to their overall ranking. They include “The Best Public Colleges in the U.S., The Colleges Whose Graduates Do Best Financially, Colleges Where Students Are Most Inspired by Their Peers, Colleges Where Students Feel Challenged, Public Universities Do Best When It Comes to Diversity, and Colleges That Prioritize Internships.”

UCLA, Michigan, and UNC are the top public colleges. California is tops when it comes to top most diverse students with La Sierra University on the top and seven California public schools in the top 12. Students are the most challenged at Dordt College in Iowa and Texas Christian University. While Kettering University, Endicott College are the top schools That Prioritize Internships preparing their students for work after college. The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, however, is the top school for elevating income for graduates, while Harvard and Duke are the best universities for graduates to do best financially overall.

The rankings are based on specific categories, Resources, Student Outcomes, Engagement, and Environment. The top results like last year are a mix of private Ivy League and private universities, and small little-known public colleges. Harvard University remains first when it comes to Resources. There was a new number one in the Student Outcomes category with Yale University out and Harvard and Duke vying and tying for first. The outcomes category most mirrors the overall top ten with most of the universities appearing in the lists top 11 with one addition, Williams College tied for ninth, but came in at №22 overall.

The Ivy League schools did not dominate the entire ranking with public schools outweighing them in two categories, Engagement and Environment. For a second year, Dordt College is the top school in Engagement, but was only №393 overall in the ranking. La Sierra University is still the best school for Environment although it does not even rank in the top 600. Environment examines whether a school is racially and socioeconomically diverse but also looks at “staff and the proportion of international students.” Ironically, none of the schools in the top five even made the Environment category’s top 50.

Dave Pettit, Editor of Specialized News Products, The Wall Street Journal discussed this year’s ranking in the press release. Pettit explained, “With so many schools to choose from and countless factors to consider, selecting the right college requires careful consideration and a lot of research. The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings are designed to help make the selection process easier and less intimidating.”

Baty, Editorial Director, Global Rankings, at the Times Higher Education commented, on what makes their ranking unique. Baty said, “In our first year, the Journal and THE were lauded for shaking up U.S. rankings. Unlike traditional competitors, we have built these rankings around a huge survey based on 200,000 current student voices, giving us a student’s eye view of teaching, learning, and life on campus. It gives a rounded and practical understanding of the strengths of individual institutions and the lifelong value of a degree.”

The WSJ/THE were quick to address the differences between their ranking and US News and World Report’s flagship ranking of American colleges and universities, specifically the discrepancies between their positioning of universities. The most noticeable difference is Princeton, who has topped US News’ ranking for several years, but was only number nine in the WSJ/THE ranking, because their engagement rank was a disappointing number 533.

The main reason for the differences all amounts to the methodologies each ranking uses to calculate national position. Carnegie Mellon, who came in at number 20, but number 25 under US News summed up well the reasons for the differences and the problems with rankings in a statement. The statement read, “Some rankings are designed purely for entertainment, little more than internet photo galleries. Others make a more serious effort at collecting information. Even where rankings do collect objective statistics such as test scores or costs, the choice of which factors to include in a ranking, and how those factors are weighted, remains subjective.”

WSJ/THE US College Rankings 2018 top 10:

1. Harvard University (6)
2. Columbia University (5)
3. Stanford University (1)
3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (tie) (2)
5. Duke University (7)
6. Yale University (6)
7. California Institute of Technology (12)
8. University of Pennsylvania (4)
9. Princeton University (9)
10. Cornell University (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 September 12, 2017: Oxford and Cambridge reign atop Times Higher Education’s 2018 World University Rankings as the US tumbles

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EDUCATION

Oxford and Cambridge reign atop Times Higher Education’s 2018 World University Rankings as the US tumbles

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

For the second year, Oxford University is the world’s best topping Times Higher Education (THE) 2017/18 World University Rankings. (Wikipedia Commons)

There is new powerhouse couple topping the 2018 edition of Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings. The University of Cambridge joins the reigning university Oxford moving up to second place. For the first time in the ranking’s history, American schools are left out in the cold from the top positions. Times Higher Education (THE) released their 2017/18 World University Rankings on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, and for the second year, Oxford University is the world’s best. With Cambridge in second former five-time honor winner, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) slides to tie for third place with the United States most selective school, Stanford University. The ranking shows an increased pre-eminence for British, European and Asian schools while American schools fall in the ranks.

With Oxford again on top, vice-chancellor Louise Richardson told THE she was “delighted that Oxford has held its position at the top of these global rankings.” Continuing Richardson expressed, “To be judged the best university in the world for the second successive year, against a backdrop in which Britain’s role in the world is uncertain and the place of universities in society open to question, will be a great source of pride for everyone at Oxford, and, I hope, for the whole country.” Richard son concluded, “Success in our field is never an accident, it is “achieved by a relentless pursuit of excellence, creative brilliance and a deep commitment to our enduring values.”

The second half of the top ten stayed mostly the same. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) remains in 5th place, Harvard University stays in sixth, Princeton University in seventh. The Imperial College London also remains in eighth, the University of Chicago in ninth place, and ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology is again tied for tenth place. A new university enters the top ten the University of Pennsylvania moves up three to tie for tenth place. While the University of California, Berkeley, who last year tied for tenth moves down eight to 18th 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.

The biggest news, however, was how for the second year in a row Britain denies the US the top spot, and this year takes the second place. Before the 2017 world ranking the US had the top university for the list’s 12 years. According to the Wall Street Journal, 2018 marks the fifth year, American universities have declined in ranking and number of universities represented in the top 200. In 2014, there were 77 American schools in the top 200 now there are only 62, 15 less in just four years. Despite losing the top two spots, American universities dominate the top 10 and the ranking list in general, but they are losing ground. According to THE “two-fifths of the US institutions in the top 200 (29 out of 62) have dropped places.” Although American universities are still well represented the U.K, Germany and the Netherlands have the most universities in the top 1000.

Part of the reason for this year’s decline was the election and inauguration of President Donald Trump and his travel ban for six Muslim countries. The ranking collected data at the peak of the hysteria, and although immigration remains an issue, the frenzy over the issue subsided. Unfortunately, American schools suffered in the ranking at the height of the backlash over Trump and his policies. However, THE’s methodology relies heavily on funding and American universities saw a drop in their “institutional income,” with the top Caltech and Stanford dropping by 23 to 24 percent. In contrast, British schools saw an infusion of funding, with Oxford receiving 24 percent more and Cambridge 11 percent. The majority of American schools in the top 200, 59 out 62 dropped in the ranking.

Phil Baty, the rankings editor at Times Higher Education, commented on America’s place in the rankings, calling it stagnation. Baty said, “It’s not doom and gloom, the U.S. still dominates the list, but there are clear warning signs and fairly significant flashing red lights that the U.S. is under threat from increasing competition. Asia is rising. It’s a worrying time for stagnation for the U.S.”

Britain and China saw the largest bumps in the rankings. Britain has always been home to the world oldest and some of most prestigious universities. This year 23 of the 24 universities in UK’s Russell Group were in the top 200. There are 31 British schools in the top 200 with 93 in the top 1000. Last year, Brexit was at the forefront but now it is becoming less of an issue at least for now when it comes to attracting students and research. Future funding, an integral part of the THE ranking methodology is still a question for British schools. Whether the funding and professors from the European Union will remain at current rates is still uncertain.

This year China had seven schools in the top 200, up from only two in 2014 and two in the top 30 Peking and Tsinghua both in Bejing. Asia’s top school is the National University of Singapore tied for 22nd place. China, however, according to the WSJ is manufacturing conditions that increase their profiles in world rankings. The Communist government is investing in their universities, and trying to appeal to international students, although the majority of their foreign students are coming from other Asian countries including South Korea, but also the US.

Elizabeth Perry, a professor of Government at Harvard specializing in China, believes the Chinese government is creating conditions to give their universities an edge in the rankings, which she calls gaming. Perry told the WSJ, “They are hiring an army of postdocs whose responsibility is to produce articles. They are changing the nature of a university from an educational institution to basically a factory that is producing what these rankings reward.”

Many university ranking methodologies rely on the number of citations, research, and articles produced by a university to determine their ranking China is mass marketing research, which Xia Qiong, “a professor at Wuhan University in central China” claims is mostly trash. Xia revealed to the WSJ, “Research overly emphasizes quantity, not quality, and accordingly produces a lot of trash and wastes a lot of research funds.”

In Canada, The University of Toronto remains the country’s top school, coming in at tied for 22nd place in the ranking followed by University of British Columbia at number 34, and McGill University, which remains at 42 again this year. McMaster University seems to be joining the esteemed ranks of University of Toronto, British Columbia and McGill University, the big three of Canadian universities. McMaster saw “the largest jump of any school in the top 100” moving into the top 100 for the first time and to number 78, last year McMaster was 113.

The 35 spot move is attributed to McMaster’s Health Sciences research. According to the WSJ, McMaster “created antibiotics to treat infectious diseases and creating molecules that carry radioactive charges designed to detect cancer in very early forms.” This is the second ranking McMaster has seen their numbers rise. Earlier in August, McMaster eclipsed McGill in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2018 edition where McMaster moved up an impressive 17 places and took the 66th spot and third place in Canada.

The THE World University Rankings expanded this year’s rankings with more universities from more countries. This year they ranked 1000 school up from 978 last year. 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.”

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 pillars “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.

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

1 University of Oxford (U.K.) (1)
2 University of Cambridge (U.K.) (4)
T-3 California Institute of Technology (U.S.) (2)
T-3 Stanford University (U.S.) (3)
5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (U.S.) (5)
6 Harvard University (U.S.) (5)
7 Princeton University (U.S.) (7)
8 Imperial College London (U.K.) (8)
9 University of Chicago (U.S.) (9)
T-10 ETH Zurich — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (Switzerland) (T-10)
T-10 University of Pennsylvania (U.S.) (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 June 15, 2017: Harvard again tops Times Higher Education’s World Reputation Rankings for seventh-year

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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 June 15, 2017: Harvard again tops Times Higher Education’s World Reputation Rankings for seventh-year

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EDUCATION

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: 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: 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.

Universities June 3, 2016: Harvard tops Times Higher Education’s World Reputation Rankings for sixth year

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EDUCATION

Harvard tops Times Higher Education’s World Reputation Rankings for sixth year

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Examiner.com, June 3, 2016, 5:50 PM MST

Harvard University has the best global reputation for the sixth year in a row, every year that the Times Higher Education published their World Reputation Rankings, May 4, 2016
Harvard University has the best global reputation for the sixth year in a row, every year that the Times Higher Education published their World Reputation Rankings, May 4, 2016
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Education March 12, 2016: British universities dominate Oxford tops THE’s best universities in Europe 2016

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EDUCATION

British universities dominate Oxford tops THE’s best universities in Europe 2016

By Bonnie K. Goodman

March 12, 2016 6:41 PM MST

 The University of Oxford tops this year's ranking from Times Higher Education (THE) of the Best Universities in Europe; 46 British universities are making the cut, the most of any other country, March 10, 2016
The University of Oxford tops this year’s ranking from Times Higher Education (THE) of the Best Universities in Europe; 46 British universities are making the cut, the most of any other country, March 10, 2016
University of Oxford (www.ox.ac.uk)