Just the ticket – more US university rankings

The Wall Street Journal’s blog (“The numbers guy”) has an interesting piece on the addition of a couple of new rankings by US News.

The new ones are:

best black colleges, and best of the highly ranked schools that are easier to get into. “We do have others in the works,” the magazine’s editor, Brian Kelly, told me, but he declined to elaborate.

But as the numbers guy rightly observes:

U.S. News does more than just compile data. It also chooses which data to compile, and sets the relative weight of different criteria. Critics of the rankings call these choices arbitrary, and also point out that the rankings themselves change what is being measured — for instance, when schools try to manipulate their numbers in order to climb the charts.

Universities manipulate data to gain league table advantage? The very thought!

It is interesting to consider though whether we will see in the UK any genuinely “specialist” tables beyond the Business School ones in the FT.

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