A new world ranking of universities

What we’ve all been waiting for…

Yes, it’s another new world ranking. This time from the previously  unheard of Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) from Saudi Arabia. The website offers little information about the organisation but we do know that the US has the lion’s share of the top 100 places:

The distribution of top 100 institutions among countries is as follows: USA (58), England (7), France (5), Japan (5), Israel (4), Switzerland (4), Canada (3), Germany (3), Australia (2), Netherlands (2), Denmark (1), Finland (1), Italy (1), Norway (1), Scotland (1), South Korea (1), and Sweden (1).

The detailed methodology is also available on the CWUR website. Anyway, the Top 10 is as follows:

Top 10

  1. Harvard
  2. MIT
  3. Stanford
  4. Cambridge
  5. Caltech
  6. Princeton
  7. Oxford
  8. Yale
  9. Columbia
  10. Berkeley

And the UK placings in the Top 100 are:

4 Cambridge

7 Oxford

28 Imperial

31 UCL

60 Edinburgh

76 Manchester

97 Nottingham

98 Bristol

So, overall not that dissimilar from the SJTU Academic Ranking of World Universities or the QS table. Will it gain a niche in the rankings market? Time will tell but at first sight it doesn’t seem to be sufficiently distinctive to attract a major profile.

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A “cheerless science”?

Not quite the dismal science that is economics but not far off it seems.

From the obituary of Sir Neil MacCormick, Regius professor of law at Edinburgh:

Not content with teaching, writing and research, he enjoyed and excelled in the cheerless science of academic administration, serving over many years as dean of faculty, provost of law and social sciences and vice-principal.

Cheerless? Really? Or has the fun associated with the activity been seriously underestimated?