2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities: Top 20 and UK placings

2014 ARWU University World Rankings: Top 20 and UK placings

It feels like a strange time to publish a world ranking but ideal holiday reading for many.

Anyway, as in previous years there is not a huge amount to get excited about as this is a league table where little changes. The full rankings have been published and are now available at the ARWU website

As in many previous years there are really very few surprises and almost no movement in the top 20 with Harvard retaining the number 1 spot for the eighth successive year and everyone else just about unchanged too although MIT and Berkeley swap places inside the top 5. Overall there is very little movement in top 20 apart from the new entry of UCL in 20th place.

World
Rank
Institution* Country
/Region
National
Rank
Total
Score
Score onAlumni
Award
HiCi
N&S
PUB
PCP
1 Harvard University
1
100
100
2 Stanford University
2
72.1
41.8
3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
3
70.5
68.4
4 University of California-Berkeley
4
70.1
66.8
5 University of Cambridge
1
69.2
79.1
6 Princeton University
5
60.7
52.1
7 California Institute of Technology
6
60.5
48.5
8 Columbia University
7
59.6
65.1
9 University of Chicago
8
57.4
61.4
9 University of Oxford
2
57.4
51
11 Yale University
9
55.2
48.8
12 University of California, Los Angeles
10
51.9
30.2
13 Cornell University
11
50.6
37.6
14 University of California, San Diego
12
49.3
19.7
15 University of Washington
13
48.1
21.7
16 University of Pennsylvania
14
47.1
32.4
17 The Johns Hopkins University
15
47
38.7
18 University of California, San Francisco
16
45.2
0
19 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich
1
43.9
30.2
20 University College London
3
43.3
28.8

 

In terms of the UK placings, the only substantive changes are that Bristol and King’s swap places and Nottingham drops out of Top 100. Given the general stability of the table it is not entirely clear why this has happened.

World Rank
1
University of Cambridge 5
2
University of Oxford 9
3
University College London 20
4
The Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine 22
5
The University of Manchester 38
6
The University of Edinburgh 45
7
King’s College London 59
8
University of Bristol 63
9-17
Cardiff University 101-150
9-17
London School of Economics and Political Science 101-150
9-17
The University of Glasgow 101-150
9-17
The University of Sheffield 101-150
9-17
University of Birmingham 101-150
9-17
University of Leeds 101-150
9-17
University of Liverpool 101-150
9-17
University of Nottingham 101-150
9-17
University of Southampton 101-150
18-20
University of East Anglia 151-200
18-20
University of Sussex 151-200
18-20
University of Warwick 151-200

Anyway, much summer fun to be had analysing this data.

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Students behaving badly

Crimes and misdemeanours at university

I was greatly taken by this list of fineable offences for 18th-century students at Harvard:

Offense #19, “Cutting off the lead,” seems to refer to the lead on the college building’s roof. Lead was once used for roofing material (especially for more expensively-constructed buildings), and such buildings suffered from the depradations of thieves who would steal the lead and sell it. It’s unclear, in this case, whether the students were cutting off lead for profit or for simple mischief.

 

Students have always behaved badly. Not all of them and not all of the time but universities have often felt the need to seek to constrain the worst excesses and this list from Harvard is typical although clearly very much of its time. (See also True Crime on Campus…)

A previous post here looked at regulations in Oxford and Uzbekistan, in the 16th Century and more recently.

In 1584 at Oxford University, statutes were approved to prevent disorder among the student body. These regulations also contain references to specific degree requirements including attendance at lectures on Aristotle and an instruction not to play football. (Sylvester, D (1970), Educational Documents, 800-1816, London: Methuen pp151-153.)

These days universities around the world tend to have more comprehensive requirements (but perhaps more supportive of sporting activity). See for example the University of Nottingham Code of Discipline for Students.

An interesting development of this has been reported by the Chronicle which noted that Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Higher and Secondary Education issued a ‘code of conduct’ for students, covering such matters as how they should shake hands with professors and the proper time to visit the toilet during classes.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (quoted by the Chronicle) described the code, “Ethical Rules for Higher Education Institutions,” as an attempt by an authoritarian government to keep its youth population in line:

The ministry is requiring that its pedantic “Ethical Rules for Higher Education Institutions” be signed by every university student and professor in the country.

“These rules are being introduced to form and retain, as well as defend, the ethical integrity of members of higher educational institutions,” the document says. It promises to “prevent the decay of students…and defend them from alcoholism and drug addiction, as well as the threats of religious extremism and mass culture.”

(It’s good to see that someone is still fighting that last battle, particularly after Rutgers University paid Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” $32,000 to lecture its students in March 2011. Snooki got $2,000 more than Toni Morrison, the Nobel Prize-winning author who for $30,000 delivered the keynote address at Rutgers’ commencement ceremony in May 2011.)

 

This is the kind of thing which Harvard used to have to put up with

This is the kind of thing which Harvard used to have to put up with

Notwithstanding the lofty language of the prologue, many of the new guidelines read like a rather poor joke, the work of ministry officials with an acutely sardonic sense of humor. Article 3.8 stipulates that “members of a higher education institution, when moving, should take the right side. It is recommended to greet each other in the following way: students first greet professors; men first greet women; younger students first greet older students. Shaking hands is excluded from this rule, since elders should reach out to shake first.”

And as if that weren’t enough:

“It is prohibited to post on the Internet materials that are not in line with national values or related to the internal problems of higher educational institutions,” the rules say, before going on to note that they “categorically ban publishing, saving, or distribution via computers of different materials not related to a higher education institution.”

And just when you thought things could not get any worse: “Don’t walk around a university campus with no reason,” the rulebook advises.

So, it really does feel like a bit of a homage to Harvard. Unfortunately it is the Harvard of over 200 years ago rather than today.

2013 Academic Ranking of World Universities: Top 20 and UK placings

2013 ARWU University World Rankings: Top 20 and UK placings

A level results day is an interesting time to publish a world ranking but who are we to criticise.

Anyway, don’t get too excited as it is unlikely the bookies will be losing their shirts on this one. Here is the top 20 in full. It is almost identical to last year’s with only one new entrant at number 20.

1 Harvard University
2 Stanford University
3 University of California, Berkeley
4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
5 University of Cambridge
6 California Institute of Technology
7 Princeton University
8 Columbia University
9 University of Chicago
10 University of Oxford
11 Yale University
12 University of California, Los Angeles
13 Cornell University
14 University of California, San Diego
15 University of Pennsylvania
16 University of Washington
17 The Johns Hopkins University
18 University of California, San Francisco
19 University of Wisconsin – Madison
20 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

The full rankings have been published and are now available at the ARWU website

As last year (and the year before that and the year before that) there are really no surprises and almost no movement in the top 20 with Harvard retaining the number 1 spot for the seventh successive year and everyone else just about unchanged too. Probably for the best.

In terms of the UK placings, again very little change with only spme slight upward movement for a few institutions.

1
University of Cambridge 5
2
University of Oxford 10
3
University College London 21
4
The Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine 24
5
The University of Manchester 41
6
The University of Edinburgh 51
7
University of Bristol 64
8
King’s College London 67
9
University of Nottingham 83

Let’s hope there will be a tad more excitement with the other league tables from QS and THE later in the year.

Not Guilty, Your Honour: students and cheating

Honour codes and cheating

Two fascinating stories recently about students cheating and responses to it. All universities face the issue of how to educate students on the importance of honesty and integrity in academic study and avoiding plagiarism and other forms of cheating. Many US institutions have what is called an Honour Code to which students are expected to adhere and which covers all aspects of their behaviour in academic and non-academic activities. Similar statements can be found in the registration or matriculation agreements signed by students on arrival at UK universities. These also relate to the disciplinary regulations covering academic and other offences which describe the powers the university has (which may range from fines, to mark deductions to expulsion) to respond to behaviour which breaches these agreements.

The first of these pieces, in The Chronicle of Higher Education describes how Coursera, one of the big MMOC providers, has moved to add an “honour code prompt” in response to reports of widespread plagiarism by students following its courses:

Specifically, they must check a box next to this sentence: “In accordance with the Honor Code, I certify that my answers here are my own work, and that I have appropriately acknowledged all external sources (if any) that were used in this work.”

Only a few courses that are now under way include essay assignments, so just three courses are affected (though tens of thousands of students are enrolled in each one). Officials say they may add the honor-code prompt to other types of assignments in the future. Students in all Coursera courses already agree to its honor code when they sign up for classes.

“A large part of the plagiarism arises from lack of understanding of the expected standards of behavior in U.S. academic institutions, especially among students who have not been trained in such institutions,” said Daphne Koller, a co-founder of the company and a Stanford University professor, in an e-mail interview. “We believe that this language will be quite helpful.”

It is interesting that the view here appears to be that this is really an issue about cultural difference and alternative norms about what is and is not acceptable in terms of academic work. This is likely to be a factor when there are so many students, from many different backgrounds and educational traditions, taking a course. It is a challenge faced and addressed in traditional university education too. What is different here though is that the nature and operation of MOOCs means that plagiarism and other forms of cheating is inevitable. With huge numbers of students taking each class and automated or peer marking and no quality assurance then it is simply impossible to be confident about the integrity of the assessment process. Such an invitation to students to sign a pledge looks, at best, a little tokenistic.

Meanwhile, Harvard University, which has never had an honour code, is to consider instituting one as it investigates whether at least 125 undergraduates cheated by working together on a take-home exam according to this piece in The Washington Post:

Officials said they intend to start broad conversations about academic honesty, including why it is vital to intellectual inquiry, in the wake of what is believed to be the largest such episode in recent school history.

Harvard University is investigating whether dozens of undergraduate students cheated on a take-home exam last spring.

“We really think we need to work harder,” said Jay M. Harris, dean of undergraduate education. “We do think it’s an opportunity to really put out before the community how much we value integrity.”

School officials said Thursday they discovered roughly half of the students in a class of at least 250 people may have shared answers or plagiarized on a final. They declined to release the name of the class or the students’ names.

“These allegations, if proven, represent totally unacceptable behavior that betrays the trust upon which intellectual inquiry at Harvard depends,” President Drew Faust said.

What is perhaps most surprising about this incident is the scale of it with half of a class of 250 said to be involved. The key difference between this and the Coursera response is that the University detected the possible cheating and is acting on it in order to maintain the standard of its awards. That’s not something we can expect to see from a MOOC provider in the near future (of which Harvard is of course one, albeit indirectly, through its partnership in edX).

The other rather dispiriting conclusion we can draw from all of this is that human nature is such that many people will, if you give them the opportunity, cheat.

2012 Shanghai Jiao Tong World Rankings: Top 20 and UK placings

2012 Shanghai Jiao Tong World Rankings: Top 20 and UK placings

Keep calm. Top 20 follows:

1 Harvard University
2 Stanford University
3 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
4 University of California, Berkeley
5 University of Cambridge
6 California Institute of Technology
7 Princeton University
8 Columbia University
9 University of Chicago
10 University of Oxford
11 Yale University
12 University of California, Los Angeles
13 Cornell University
14 University of Pennsylvania
15 University of California, San Diego
16 University of Washington
17 The Johns Hopkins University
18 University of California, San Francisco
19 University of Wisconsin – Madison
20 The University of Tokyo

The rankings have been published and are or will shortly be available at the ARWU website

As last year though there are no surprises and absolutely no movement in the top 20 with Harvard retaining the number 1 spot for the sixth successive year and everyone else unchanged too. They are going to have to think about changing to doing this every five years instead of annually.

In terms of the UK placings, again very little change:

5 University of Cambridge United Kingdom 1
10 University of Oxford United Kingdom 2
21 University College London United Kingdom 3
24 The Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine United Kingdom 4
40 The University of Manchester United Kingdom 5
51 The University of Edinburgh United Kingdom 6
68 King’s College London United Kingdom 7
70 University of Bristol United Kingdom 8
86 University of Nottingham United Kingdom 9

Only change is that Sheffield slips out of the Top 100.

Let’s hope there will be more excitement with the Times Higher and QS tables.

True Crime: the US campus edition

Another True Crime on Campus USA

It’s a bit like those US versions of top rated UK reality TV shows. Except it obviously isn’t. And they did it first. However, as a cursory examination of some of the highlights from this edition (featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education) will show, the UK version is much better (in my humble opinion).

Chronicle

U. OF NEVADA AT LAS VEGAS

10:19 a.m., August 30

Assist person—sick/injured. A student was referred to judicial affairs after striking a pole and themselves. Disposition: closed.

HARVARD UNIVERSITY

12:39 p.m., September 9

Trespass warning. Au Bon Pain. Officers dispatched to a report of an unwanted guest sleeping face down in a plate of food. Officers arrived, located the individual, and conducted a field interview. The individual was checked for wants/warrants with negative results. The individual was issued a trespass warning for Au Bon Pain and sent on their way. Status: closed.

U. OF SOUTHERN MAINE

1:05 a.m., September 16

Welfare check. G-13 Student Parking. Officer out in G-13C with three individuals by the woods. Subject was about to urinate and was advised not to.

I refer you to a sample of the domestic True Crime on Campus posted earlier this year. What do you reckon? Is True Crime on Campus USA better than the UK version? (Note that True Crime on Campus §15 will be along in the near future.)

QS World University Rankings 2011 – UK Results

QS World University Rankings 2011 – Results for UK universities

The UK presence in the QS top 100 for 2011 is largely unchanged although there is some jockeying for position in the top 10 where Cambridge is ranked first for a second consecutive year ahead of Harvard, MIT and Yale and Oxford moves up to fifth ahead of Imperial, while UCL drops from fourth to seventh. UK institutions do tend to do rather well in this table though, probably because of the significant score derived from a reputational survey (where age counts for a lot). There are 37 UK universities in the top 300, second only to the US. Despite Cambridge’s table-topping performance, US institutions continue to dominate, taking 20 of the top 50 places and accounting for 70 of the top 300.

Six indicators are used in the ranking:
40% Academic reputation from a global survey
10% Employer reputation from a global survey
20% Citations per faculty from SciVerse Scopus
20% Faculty student Ratio
5% Proportion of international students
5% Proportion of international staff

2011 ranking of UK universities (2010 in brackets)

1  (1 )University of Cambridge

5  (6) University of Oxford

6  (7) Imperial College London

7  (4)  UCL

20  (22)  University of Edinburgh

27  (21) King’s College London (KCL)

29  (30) The University of Manchester

30  (27) University of Bristol

50  (53)  The University of Warwick

59 (77)  University of Glasgow

64 (80) LSE

67 (59) University of Birmingham

72 (69) The University of Sheffield

74 (73) The University of Nottingham

75 (81) University of Southampton

93 (85) University of Leeds

95 (92) Durham University

96 (88) University of York

97 (95) University of St Andrews

Full details at QS World University Rankings Results website.

British students flocking to the US Ivy League. Or not?

An untrained brain drain?

In a recent post I commented on the press reports on the modest flow of English students to universities in continental Europe and the reverse flow of other EU students to the UK. The media seems extremely keen to report any international movement by students from the UK as evidence of a flight from the 2012 fee regime (at least for students from England). So, the Telegraph has a feature on British students turning to US Ivy League universities:

According to figures, Harvard had around 500 British applications to start courses this autumn, up from around 370 for last year – a 35 per cent increase.

Yale enrolled 36 British students onto undergraduate courses last year, up from 25 in 2009 – a 44 per cent rise. Five years ago, in 2006, just 15 students enrolled.

Some 197 students from England and Wales alone have applied to start courses at Cornell this autumn, up from 176 last year.

Information from Columbia University shows that 178 British students enrolled in 2009, up from 164 in 2008 and 151 in 2003.

Berkeley University, which is not an Ivy League college, has had 166 British applications for this autumn, compared with 130 last year.

To put this into perspective, there were over 630,000 applications through UCAS for 2011 entry to UK universities. And there were over 14,300 US students studying in the UK in 2008/09. This is, therefore, a drop in the ocean.

Measuring productivity: Ranking papers

Measuring Productivity

Another ranking, this time it’s the 2010 Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities, brought to you by the Higher Education and Evaluation Council of Taiwan.

So, essentially it’s just about the research as the criteria show:

The top 10:

1 Harvard
2 Stanford
3 Johns Hopkins
4 University of Washington
5 UCLA
6 Berkeley
7 MIT
8 University of Michigan
9 Toronto
10 Oxford

What does this tell us that others don’t? Not a lot.

Another World Ranking: High Impact Universities

High Impact Universities: “it’s all about research impact”

Following the rash of recent world league table publications here is one that is based primarily on research. The rankings measure universities’ Research Performance Index or RPI. The table has been developed at the University of Western Australia and can be found here.

The Top 20 is:

1 Harvard University
2 Stanford University
3 MIT
4 University of California, Los Angeles
5 University of California, Berkeley
6 University of Michigan
7 University of Washington
8 University of Pennsylvania
9 Johns Hopkins University
10 University of California, San Diego
11 Columbia University
12 University of Minnesota
13 University of Cambridge
14 University of Toronto
15 University of Chicago
16 Cornell University
17 University of Oxford
18 University of Wisconsin, Madison
19 Yale University
20 Pennsylvania State University

The methodology is based on a “simple process” which delivers your RPI for each broad subject area/faculty

Step 1. calculate the g-index (a numerical measure of the quality and consistency of publication or research output) for each faculty of the particular university
Step 2. divide or normalize the g-index for each faculty by that of the highest globally performing faculty
Step 3. average or sum the normalized faculty indices to arrive at a final RPI value for a particular university

Comparisons with the recent Times Higher Education and QS tables show some major similarities, they are all US dominated, but also some marked differences, particularly for Cambridge, Oxford and Yale.

New 2010 Times Higher Education World University Rankings

2010 Times Higher Education World University Rankings

The new THE world rankings are out and available here. New method, new rankings and some pretty big changes in the top 200. However, to look at the top 20 you wouldn’t think there was an awful lot going on here (unless perhaps you were Cambridge). And Harvard is on top (unlike in the recent QS table where they were usurped by Cambridge).

1 Harvard University
2 California Institute of Technology
3 MIT
4 Stanford University
5 Princeton University
=6 University of Cambridge
=6 University of Oxford
8 University of California, Berkeley
9 Imperial College London
10 Yale University
11 University of California, Los Angeles
12 University of Chicago
13 Johns Hopkins University
14 Cornell University
=15 University of Michigan
=15 Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich
17 University of Toronto
18 Columbia University
19 University of Pennsylvania
20 Carnegie Mellon University

The bigger surprises come beyond the top 20 where UK universities generally seem to slip. Indeed, three Russell Group institutions fail to show at all in the top 200 (Warwick, Cardiff, Queen’s) whereas others do rather well (eg York, Sussex). The early press reporting on the table in the UK is generally leading on the poor showing of British institutions. More to follow on this.

QS World University Rankings 2010: UK results

QS World University Rankings 2010: UK results – good, bad or indifferent?

Following up the earlier post on the QS world top 20 it is interesting to note that, depending on your perspective, a goodly/pitiful number of UK universities appear in the QS top 100 as follows (last year in brackets):

1 Cambridge (2)
4 UCL (4)
6 Oxford (5=)
7 Imperial (5=)
21 King’s (23)
22 Edinburgh (20=)
27 Bristol (34)
30 Manchester (26)
53 Warwick (58)
59 Birmingham (66)
69 Sheffield (82)
73 Nottingham (91)
77 Glasgow (79)
80 LSE (67=)
81 Southampton (95=)
85 Leeds (99)
88 York (70=)
92 Durham (103=)
95 St Andrews (87=)

19 UK institutions in the top 100 is not bad, and, whilst the big story for QS remains Cambridge ousting Harvard in the top slot, there isn’t a huge amount of change here although the University of Nottingham and the University of Sheffield are relatively big climbers here.

QS World University Rankings Results 2010

QS World University Rankings Results 2010

The QS rankings have been published and join a crowded marketplace of world university league tables. Much excitement no doubt about Cambridge and Harvard swapping places but not clear what the real reasons for this might be. Remainder of top 20 is roughly the same:

Rank 2010 (2009 in brackets)

1 (2) University of Cambridge

2 (1) Harvard University

3 (3) Yale University

4 (4) UCL

5 (9) Massachusetts Institute of Technology

6 (5=) University of Oxford

7 (5=) Imperial College London

8 (7) University of Chicago

9 (10) California Institute of Technology

10 (8) Princeton University

11 (11) Columbia University

12 (12) University of Pennsylvania

13 (16) Stanford University

14 (14) Duke University

15 (19) University of Michigan

16 (15) Cornell University

17 (13) Johns Hopkins University

18 (20=) ETH Zurich

19 (18) McGill University

20 (17) Australian National University

Full details at QS World University Rankings Results 2010 website.

Most Cited Institutions: 1999-2009

A league table of the most cited institutions 1999-2009 has been published by ScienceWatch.com

The list is dominated by US universities with 14 entries and only three UK entries and one each from Germany, Canada and Japan. Harvard is, inevitably, top:

These institutions all produce a high volume of papers resulting in extremely high citation counts—the top six institutions have over one million citations to their credit, and cite counts for the remaining 14 are all well over a half-million.

Perhaps not that startling a table but nevertheless interesting

1 HARVARD UNIV
2 MAX PLANCK SOCIETY
3 JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV
4 UNIV WASHINGTON
5 STANFORD UNIV
6 UNIV CALIF LOS ANGELES
7 UNIV MICHIGAN
8 UNIV CALIF BERKELEY
9 UNIV CALIF SAN FRANCISCO
10 UNIV PENN
11 UNIV TOKYO
12 UNIV CALIF SAN DIEGO
13 UNIV TORONTO
14 UCL
15 COLUMBIA UNIV
16 YALE UNIV
17 MIT
18 UNIV CAMBRIDGE
19 UNIV OXFORD
20 UNIV WISCONSIN

The listing of the top 20 institutions which attracted the highest total citations to their papers published in Thomson Reuters-indexed journals over all 22 fields in the database. These institutions are the top 20 out of a pool of 4,050 institutions comprising the top 1% ranked by total citation count over all fields.

More details are on the website.

Latest 2009 world university league table rankings from THE

Latest 2009 world rankings from THE and QS

QSlogo

The University world rankings have been published in THE. The top 25 is as follows:

2009
1 Harvard University (1 in 2008)
2 University of Cambridge (3)
3 Yale University (2)
4 University College London (7)
5= Imperial College London (6)
5= University of Oxford (4)
7 University of Chicago (8)
8 Princeton University (12)
9 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (9)
10 California Institute of Technology (5)
11 Columbia University (10)
12 University of Pennsylvania (11)
13 Johns Hopkins University (13=)
14 Duke University (13=)
15 Cornell University (15)
16 Stanford University (17)
17 Australian National University (16)
18 McGill University (20)
19 University of Michigan (18)
20= Eth Zurich (24)
20= University of Edinburgh (23)
22 University of Tokyo (19)
23 King’s College London (22)
24 University of Hong Kong (26)
25 Kyoto University (25)

The full tables, including subject rankings, should be available here.

The key points noted about the top 100:

* A dramatic fall in the number of North American universities in the top 100, from 42 in 2008 to 36 in 2009, reflects the growing presence and impact of Asian and European institutions on the world higher education stage. Of these, McGill was the highest ranked Canadian University, up two places at 18th.
* There are 39 European universities in the top 100, up from 36 in 2008. ETH Zurich is the top ranked continental European university at 20th place.
* The number of Asian universities in the top 100 also increased – from 14 to 16 institutions. The University of Tokyo, at 22nd, is the highest ranked Asian university, ahead of the University of Hong Kong at 24th