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Monday, March 10, 2014

The World's Most Reputable Universities In 2014 03-10

The World's Most Reputable Universities In 2014

Harvard still sits on top. MIT comes in second. Stanford is in third place. Those are the three universities with the best reputations in the world, according to a ranking just released by Times Higher Education (THE), a London magazine that tracks the higher education market.
THE also releases a more established list, the World University Ranking, which it has been putting together for the past 10 years, where it uses 13 different metrics, from the number of academic citations schools receive to the percentage of their faculty members with Ph.D.s But THE rankings editor Phil Baty explains that four years ago, he and his colleagues realized that it could also be meaningful to look purely at reputation. 
So THE decided to poll senior, published professors at universities in more than 100 countries around the world. It asked them to do one thing: Nominate 15 or fewer institutions in their field which they considered to have the best departments in their area of study.
 (A company called IpsosMediaCT collected the poll data and gave it to ThomsonReuters, which tallied the numbers for THE.) ThenTHE took the data and divided it into six disciplines: social sciences, engineering, technology, physical sciences, medicine and life sciences, and arts and humanities, and did its tally from there.
“This is purely subjective data,” explains Phil Baty,THE’s rankings editor. “It’s completely based on opinion. But it’s opinion from the people whose opinions really count.”
Why is reputation so important? “Reputation is almost like the currency of higher education,” says Baty. “It’s the way scholars decide whom to do business with, whom to collaborate with and where they’ll go for their next career move.” The same goes for students, he says. “Reputation often comes out as the No. 1 factor that students use to decide where they want to go to school.”
Of course there is something circular about college rankings. If a school comes out on top of the U.S. News ranking, or the Forbes ranking for that matter, it enhances the public perception of that school, which then ups the number of applicants and the quality of students the school can accept. It’s interesting to note that Forbes ranks Harvard down at No. 8 on its list, while Stanford is No. 1 and MIT a distant No. 10. As our readers know, Forbes ranks only U.S. institutions and we use a unique set of criteria including grads’ salaries as calculated by PayScale, faculty comments on, number of graduates who have landed in Who’s Who and four-year graduation rates. 
But arguably THE’s reputation ranking is more serious than other ratings since it’s entirely the result of a poll of scholars. This year’s ranking is based on 10,500 responses from published senior academics who reported an average of 18 years working in higher education.
As in previous years, U.S. institutions dominate the list. In addition to taking the top three spots, it has eight of the top 10, up from seven last year. Of the top 100, U.S. schools take 46 slots, up from 43 in 2013. Several U.S. universities gained quite a few places this year. Example:  Columbia University rose to 12th from 23rd.  (It’s No. 5 on the Forbes list.)
The majority of U.S. schools that have lost ground are public universities hit by spending cuts. The University of Michigan fell from 12th to 15th place, the University of Texas from 27th to 33rd and the University of Massachusetts from 42nd to the 61-70 band (THE doesn’t give specific numbers to schools in that range). The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Florida and Rutgers all fell as well. At least two top California institutions are hanging on within the top 10: U.C. Berkeley and U.C.L.A.
What about schools in other nations? The U.K. has two slots in the top 10: the well-known University of Cambridge and University of Oxford in fourth and fifth place. But Baty notes that several Asian universities are gaining ground, as their financial backing grows. The National University of Singapore is in 21st place, up one slot from last year. Seoul National University has risen to 26th from 41st and Peking University is in 41st place, up from 45th.
Here are the top 10 most reputable universities:
1. Harvard
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
3. Stanford University
4. University of Cambridge
5. University of Oxford
6. University of California, Berkeley
7. Princeton University
8. Yale University
9. California Institute of Technology
10. University of California, Los Angeles