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New global rankings: Hopkins high, G'town low

The last of the high-profile world collegiate rankings, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, was published Thursday with a new and reportedly improved methodology.

The London-based ranking used to publish in collaboration with Quacquarelli Symonds, but the two split last year. It used new criteria this year to reflect "three core elements of a university's mission -- research, teaching and knowledge transfer." Nearly two-thirds of each school's rating is based on its research output: the impact of academic research as measured by citations, and its reputation for research as measured by peers. Another 30 percent is based on the "learning environment," as measured through peer surveys, doctorates and student-faculty ratio.

The previous metric was criticized for leaning too heavily on "reputation and heritage," factors that are said to receive less weight now. It should be noted, though, that reputational surveys still make up about 35 percent of a school's total rating. That's 10 points higher than the weight afforded to reputation surveys in the U.S. News rankings.

The now-separate QS rankings made big headlines last week when Harvard was displaced from the top spot among global universities.

U.S. schools fare better in this ranking -- they do so well, in fact, that it is probably not worth the effort of typing in the name of every American school in the top 100. Instead, here are the top 10, followed by the local universities that made the 200-school list. It's worth noting that Johns Hopkins seems to do particularly well in the new formula, and Hopkins is followed sequentially by the University of Virginia, the College of William and Mary, George Washington University and the University of Maryland, all roughly reflective of how those schools appear on the U.S. News list. The only oddity is the low ranking -- 164 -- alloted to Georgetown University.

As Georgetown admissions Dean Charles Deacon reminded me in an interview yesterday, the university had a late start in building its academic research operation. Long ago, the Catholic University of America was regarded as the go-to institution for graduate study and research in Washington.

2010-11 Times Higher Education World University Rankings

1. Harvard
2. CalTech
3. MIT
4. Stanford
5. Princeton
6. University of Cambridge
(tie) University of Oxford
8. University of California, Berkeley
9. Imperial College London
10. Yale University
13. Johns Hopkins University
72. University of Virginia
75. College of William and Mary
95. George Washington University
98. University of Maryland
164. Georgetown University

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By Daniel de Vise  |  September 16, 2010; 4:04 PM ET
Categories:  Marketing , Pedagogy , Rankings , Research  | Tags: Times Higher Education, World University Rankings, college rankings, university rankings  
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The only thing more useless than national university ratings is world university ratings!

Posted by: jshay | September 17, 2010 9:32 PM | Report abuse

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