Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

U.S. schools humbled in world rankings

The headline in yesterday's release of the QS World University Rankings was that Cambridge displaced Harvard as the best university in the world, at least by one measure.

This is apparently the first time in the history of the London-based Quacquarelli Symonds university rankings that someone other than Harvard has ranked first.

Harvard is not the only university that might feel vaguely humbled by the latest world rankings. I sorted them by country to pull a list of exclusively American universities. That list appears below. (Most college-bound Americans, I assume, are going to be shopping among U.S. schools.)

The list resembles the U.S. News & World Report rankings of top national universities. But there are some significant differences. Emory, Vanderbilt and Rice universities, for example, rank in the top 20 on the U.S. News list but aren't even in the top 100 on the QS list. Dartmouth, a perennial top school in U.S. News, ranks 90th in QS.

The QS rankings lean heavily on a "peer" rating -- even more heavily, in fact, than U.S. News. The QS peer review makes up 40 percent of the school's score. Half, if you count an additional rating by employers and recruiters. That method probably favors better-known universities: schools that are larger, have a stronger international presence and competitive sports teams. The University of Maryland in College Park -- a large school with lots of research and international resonance and high-profile sports -- ranks higher than the University of Virginia on this list, while U-Va. ranks well above U-Md. on U.S. News.

Here is the complete list of U.S. universities on the QS list, along with their rank and score out of 100 possible points. Those schools that also appear in the top 20 of the U.S. News rankings of national universities are in bold.

2. Harvard University, 99.18
3. Yale University, 98.68
5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 98.19
8. University of Chicago, 97.52
9. California Institute of Technology (Caltech), 96.46
10. Princeton University, 96.03
11. Columbia University, 95.99
12. University of Pennsylvania (UPenn),95.97
13. Stanford University, 93.62
14. Duke University, 92.29
15. University of Michigan,92.2
16. Cornell University, 90.44
17. Johns Hopkins University, 89.67
26. Northwestern University, 85.4
28. University of California, Berkeley (UCB), 85.18
34. Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), 81.8
35. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 81.49
39. Brown University, 80.54
41. New York University (NYU), 78.41
48. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 76.28
55. University of Washington, 73.75
57. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 73.22
63. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), 71.75
64. Boston University, 71.73
65. University of California, San Diego (UCSD), 71.55
67. University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), 71.24
75. Washington University in St. Louis, 69.64
87. Purdue University, 67.54
90. Dartmouth College, 66.86
96. University of Minnesota, 65.58
98. Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), 64.91
104. University of Maryland, College Park, 63.72
106. Georgia Institute of Technology, 63.34
107. Emory University, 63.15
110. University of California, Davis (UCD), 62.85
113. University of Southern California (USC), 62.66
115. Rice University, 61.52
116. University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), 61.37
119. University of Pittsburgh, 60.37
125. Ohio State University, 59.05
127. Case Western Reserve University. 58.42
127. University of Rochester, 58.42
130. University of Virginia, 58.3
134. Vanderbilt University, 57.24
146. University of California, Irvine, 54.68
155. Georgetown University, 53.11
157. Tufts University, 52.69
160. University of Arizona, 52.35
170. University of Colorado at Boulder, 51.47
188. University of Iowa, 48.74
193. University of Florida, 48.25
194. Stony Brook University, 48.19
198. Texas A&M University, 47.87

By Daniel de Vise  |  September 9, 2010; 12:05 PM ET
Categories:  Pedagogy , Rankings , Research  | Tags: Harvard ranking, QS rankings, college rankings, world university rankings  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: D.C. displaces Boston as third-best college town
Next: Is college worth the money?

Comments

I looked at the results and information on it at http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2010/results. The methodology used doesn't seem very impressive. The explanations include references to "trusted advisers", but does not really state what weights the 'trusted advisors' actually determined. Its not clear what business and peer raters and advisers exist that could really have a competent knowledge of every school in the world, to the point where you could get data sensitive enough to get a valid result for each relevant, individual university, world-wide. In my opinion, maybe you could make valid broad categories, but trying to place each individual university into a valid and sigular ranks seems untenable. I don't think universities really occur in monolithic ranks. Instead the top 100 are probably about equal, however, I did not see much in this research to say it is valid.

Bernard Schuster
Arrive2.net

Posted by: arrive2dotnet | September 10, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I looked at the results and information on it at http://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2010/results. The methodology used doesn't seem very impressive. The explanations include references to "trusted advisers", but does not really state what weights the 'trusted advisors' actually determined. Its not clear what business and peer raters and advisers exist that could really have a competent knowledge of every school in the world, to the point where you could get data sensitive enough to get a valid result for each relevant, individual university, world-wide. In my opinion, maybe you could make valid broad categories, but trying to place each individual university into a valid and sigular ranks seems untenable. I don't think universities really occur in monolithic ranks. Instead the top 100 are probably about equal, however, I did not see much in this research to say it is valid.

Bernard Schuster
Arrive2.net

Posted by: arrive2dotnet | September 10, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company