Friday, November 06, 2009

Global Rankings of Universities -- A joke

Ever since US News & World Report revived its failing business publishing hugely successful annual rankings of US universities, it has been all the rage for papers around the world who have rediscovered the art of selling a me-too product.

The Times of London has been publishing an annual supplement ranking universities on the global basis. And the results are embarrassing.


Well, anyone who thinks University College in London ranked number 4 is superior to Princeton ranked #8, or Stanford is lesser than Duke and Cornell, or Australian National University is superior to University of Michigan or University of Hong Kong is superior to Kyoto University, a world class university boosting nobel prize winners is a fine candidate to enter a psychiatric ward.

This is not to denigrate UCL, Duke, Cornell etc. They are fine institutions. But hey, ok, rankings are fun unless they are stupid.

Here is the Report.

By the way, any ranking table that does not list University of California, Berkeley as one of the top 10 in the world should be thrown into the shredder rightaway. In this table, it was ranked 39 below Melbourne, Sydney and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology which has a lifespan of less than 30 years. Unbelievable.

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