New Zealand “winning the educational rankings war”

New Zealand claims to be top of the world in higher education

Some new year cheer from what is undoubtedly the most entertaining interpretation of league table data for some time from Education New Zealand:

In the global battle to attract international students, academic rankings have become an important tool and one of the main factors used to help students decide where they want to study. New Zealand’s consistently high quality of education has given this country the edge when it comes to staying ahead of the pack.
“University rankings have always been a bit controversial as they tend to favour older, larger universities,” says Education New Zealand’s Chief Executive Robert Stevens. “Given New Zealand’s small size, we are thrilled that our universities continue to put us on top of the academic world.”

Stevens is referring to the latest Academic Ranking of World Universities released by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China. It is one of the most used rankings in the world, and this year has featured five of New Zealand’s eight universities in its “Top 500” list.

Universities in the rest of the world clearly don’t measure up:

“No other country has 63% of its universities included on that list. We are absolutely leading the pack,” says Robert Stevens. The only country that came close to matching New Zealand’s performance was the Netherlands, with 61% of their universities on the list. Australia had 43% of their universities make the list, and the UK had 35%. The US, despite dominating the Top 100, had only 8% of their total number of universities feature on the rankings. The New Zealand universities which featured on the rankings were: University of Auckland, University of Otago, Massey University, University of Canterbury and Victoria University of Wellington.

Everyone else should probably just give up now.

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Ranking Systems Clearinghouse

A serious attempt to help us all make sense of all this difficult league table business.

The Institute for Higher Education Policy’s (IHEP) Ranking Systems Clearinghouse provides a road map of this complex rankings landscape, offering annotated links to these national and international ranking systems and to research about rankings world-wide. It is an outgrowth of ongoing international efforts by IHEP, UNESCO-European Centre for Higher Education (UNESCO-CEPES), and the International Rankings Expert Group (IREG) to make rankings transparent and applicable for current higher education dialogue and for all engaged in this work to learn from each others experience.

The Ranking Systems Clearinghouse which is part of the rather respectable-looking IHEP certainly seems to have comprehensive coverage of the international tables. Most valuable though are the references (as implied by the title) to a host of articles covering a wide range of rankings-related topics.

Really useful stuff.

Comparing prominent league tables

Useful league table overview article by Gavin Moodie

A nice piece this which offers a good overview of international rankings. For example:

Of the various ratings of institutions idealists prefer the approach pioneered in Germany by the Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung or Centre for Higher Education Development – CHE. In 1998 the centre launched a well designed web tool of the its university ranking. This is directed to students, allowing them to enter their preferences such as a law course with high teaching evaluations in a university with a strong sports programme. The tool shows all the programmes that meet the parameters entered by the inquirer, with each rated in the top, middle or bottom group on each of the criteria chosen.

via University World News.

Also covers SJTU, THE and the wonderful and bizarre table from the École des Mines de Paris, covered in a previous post.

Another top 100 global universities ranking

A league table with a slightly different emphasis


Top 10 of the Top 100 Global universities ranking:

1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

2 California Institute of Technology, USA

3 University of Tokyo, Japan

4 Columbia University, USA

5 Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russia

6 Harvard University, USA

7 Stanford University, USA

8 University of Cambridge, UK

9 Johns Hopkins University, USA

10 University of Chicago, USA

via Top 100 Global universities ranking.

Some of the places in the top 100 are filled by Russian institutions which tend not to feature so prominently in other global league tables. The methodology seems to be based on the views of a panel of experts but is pretty opaque. Having said that, many of the universities in the 100 are the same as in the SJTU and THE tables.

Suspect this one won’t catch on.

Shanghai Jaio Tong league table: Field Rankings

World league table: Field rankings

Following the publication of the World League Table, the ARWU Field rankings have been released. These are the companion tables to the overall world rankings produced by the team at SJTU and highlight relative standings in five broad discipline areas:

As in 2008 the University of Nottingham does rather well in three of these tables: top 30 in Clinical Medicine and Phamacy, Top 75 in Agricultural and Life Sciences, and the world’s Top 100 universities in the Social Sciences.

Shanghai Jiao Tong World Ranking 2009

2009 Shanghai Jiao Tong University League Table just published….

The latest SJTU rankings for 2009 have now been published.

Harvard is again top as in 2007 and 2008, and Cambridge remains in 4th position and top from the UK. Top 20 as follows:

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

Note that the Top 18 are identical to 2008.

UK universities appear in the top 100 as follows (change from last year in brackets):

4 Cambridge (no change)
10 Oxford (no change)
21 UCL (up 1)
26 Imperial (down 1)
41 Manchester (down 1)
53 Edinburgh (up 2)
61 Bristol (no change)
65 King’s London (up 16)
81 Sheffield (down 4)
83 Nottingham (down 1)
94= Birmingham (down 3)

No other UK institutions feature in the Shanghai Jiao Tong world 100.

An alternative global ranking of universities?

European project launched to develop a new international league table

Global Higher Ed has a report on the decision by the European Commission to award a million euro tender to develop and test a global ranking of universities to a consortium of institutions:

globe-europe

The successful bid – the CHERPA network (or the Consortium for Higher Education and Research Performance Assessment), is charged with developing a ranking system to overcome what is regarded by the European Commission as the limitations of the Shanghai Jiao Tong and the QS-Times Higher Education schemes. The final product is to be launched in 2011.

CHERPA is comprised of a consortium of leading institutions in the field within Europe; all have been developing and offering rather different approaches to ranking over the past few years.

But will it fly as an alternative?

IREG, the International Observatory on Rankings, reports the details:

The European ranking system will be independent, “robust” and measure higher education’s core functions of research, teaching and outreach, says the tender’s terms of reference. It will cover all types of higher education institutions in and outside Europe – particularly in North America, Asia and Australia – and will enable comparisons and benchmarking of similar institutions at the institutional and field levels.

The basic approach underlying the project is to compare only institutions which are similar and comparable in terms of their missions and structures. Therefore the project is closely linked to the idea of a European classification (“mapping”) of higher education institutions developed by CHEPS. The feasibility study will include focused rankings on particular aspects of higher education at the institutional level (e.g., internationalization and regional engagement) on the one hand, and two field-based rankings for business and engineering programmes on the other hand.

The project will help institutions better position themselves and improve their development strategies, quality and performance. It will enable stakeholders, especially students, to make informed choices between institutions and programmes – which existing rankings do not do because they focus only on research and entire institutions.

The field-based rankings will each focus on a particular type of institution and will develop and test a set of indicators appropriate to these institutions. The rankings will be multi-dimensional and will – like the CHE ranking – use a grouping approach rather than simplistic league tables. In contrast to existing global rankings, the design will compare not only the research performance of institutions but will include teaching & learning as well as other aspects of university performance.

Will be interesting to see the outputs of this work but it will be a huge challenge for the new model to become a credible alternative to SJTU and THE world rankings.

New 2008 world university rankings from SJTU

2008 Shanghai Jiao Tong University League Table just published…

The latest SJTU rankings for 2008 now published although not “official” it seems until 15 August.

Harvard is again top as in 2007, and Cambridge remains in 4th position and top from the UK. Top 20 as follows:

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

UK universities appear in the top 100 as follows (change from last year in brackets):

4 Cambridge (no change)
10 Oxford (no change)
22 UCL (up 3)
27 Imperial (down 4)
40 Manchester (up 8 places)
55 Edinburgh (down 2)
61 Bristol (up 1)
77 Sheffield (down 5)
81 King’s London (up 2)
82 Nottingham (down 1)
91 Birmingham (up 1)

No other UK institutions feature in the Shanghai Jiao Tong world 100.

(with thanks to Comms Office for the early spot)

World university league table: field rankings

Snappily titled SJTU-ARWU Field rankings have just been published. These are the companion tables to the overall world rankings produced by the team at SJTU. Due to overwhelming demand it seems:

Since the first publication of Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) in 2003, we have received numerous requests to provide ranking of world universities by broad subject fields/schools/colleges and by subject fields/programs/departments. In addition, many top Chinese universities are interested in learning their positions in the world by subjects. In response to the requests, we have been studying the possibility of ranking world universities by broad subject fields. This is the final results of 2008 Academic Ranking of World Universities by Broad Subject Fields (ARWU – FIELD 2008); top 100 world universities in each of five broad subject fields are provided.

The University of Nottingham does rather well in three of these tables: top 30 in Clinical Medicine and Phamacy, Top 50 for Agricultural and Life Sciences, and the world’s Top 100 universities in the Social Sciences.

New league table amusement

An outstanding new table from the École des Mines de Paris

ENSMP

The École des Mines de Paris is proposing a new international classification of higher education institutions with regard to the performance of their training programmes, based on the professional future of their alumni. The criterion chosen for this new classification is the number of alumni among the Chief Executive Officers of the 500 leading worldwide companies. The governing principle of this classification is very different from that of the Shanghai ranking, which is based essentially on the performance of higher education institutions in research.

This really is great. 500 CEOs, 338 different institutions. Most of the institutions listed boast a connection with only one or two CEOs. Which makes you question why they bothered (unless you come from the University of Huddersfield of course, in which case this is the best league table going).

(With thanks to Professor Ken Starkey for drawing this one to my attention)