Friday, September 18, 2015

Top ranked 200 world universities

The QS World University Rankings are issued annually by the Quacquarelli Symonds(QS) company. From 2004 to 2009 QS collaborated with Times Higher Education in issuing rankings but since then have issued separate rankings.
QS chose to follow the methodology existing at the time of the split but THE adopted new methodology for its own versions. The QS rankings have been criticized for being commercialized and giving weight to some subjective indicators.
The rankings for 200 universities from 57 different countries can be found here. The top 10 universities are dominated by large US universities although the UK and Switzerland also are represented. From first to tenth the top 10 universities are: Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) in the US; Harvard (US); Cambridge in the UK; Stanford (US); Caltech (US); Oxford (UK); UC London (UK); Imperial College (UK); Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, in Switzerland; University of Chicago (US). Singapore boasts the National University of Singapore at 12th and Nanyang Tech at 13th. Australia's highest ranking was their National University at 19th. The highest rated Canadian university was McGill in Montreal at 24thm just ahead of the highest-ranking Chinese school Tsinghua University.
Changes in measurement methodology has led to Canadian universities being lower in the ranks this year as compared to last. The University of Toronto placed 34th and the University of British Columbia in 50th. University of Montreal dropped from 83rd last year to 115th this year. The methodology is based on six indicators that include academic reputation, employer reputation, and faculty-to-student ratio. The survey considered 3,539 institutions of which the 200 best were ranked.
Several high-ranking UK universities saw their ratings drop with the new methodology but the UK still has four universities in the top 10 in the world. One of the biggest casualties was London’s Imperial College, which in 2014 was tied for second with Cambridge but this year dropped to eighth position because of a change in the methodology used to rate universities. Oxford and University College London also slipped from a tie for fifth to sixth for Oxford and seventh for UCL this year. However, some universities climbed in rankings because of the changes with the London School of Economics and Political Science(LSE) jumping from 71st all the way to 35th. Warwick university also gained advancing from 61st last year to enter the top 50 at 48th this year. The methodology changes are an attempt to provide a better balance between universities strong in research and those that are outstanding in the arts and humanities but provide many fewer citations. Critics have claimed that using citations as a key measure also discriminates against universities whose main language of instruction is not English since citations come from predominantly English language sources.
Ben Sowter, head of QS research said about the better rating of LSE under the new methodology:“That the LSE is a world-class institution is not news. Indeed, they have been a firm fixture in the QS top 100 for over a decade, but in any ranking system that places emphasis on medicine and sciences, their strength in their areas of specialty are never likely to shine as brightly as they ought to.The QS methodology now evens the playing field and LSE climbs 36 places to be counted, rightfully, amongst the world’s top 40.”
John O'Leary a board member of the QS advisory board noted that even under the new ratings the UK rated second only to the US as a desitnation for higher education and that UK universities still make up four of the ten top universities This is surely an impressive achievement. Of the top 200 institutions 49 were in the US, 30 in the UK, 12 in the Netherlands, and 11 in Germany. Canada, Australia and Japan all had 8 and China had 7. London has the most of the top universities of any city in the world.


No comments: