August 23, 2006


The Complete List: The Top 100 Global Universities (Aug. 13, 2006, Newsweek)

In response to the same forces that have propelled the world economy toward global integration, universities have also become more self-consciously global: seeking students from around the world who represent the entire spec­ trum of cultures and values, sending their own students abroad to prepare them for global careers, offering courses of study that address the challenges of an inter­ connected world and collaborative research programs to advance science for the benefit of all humanity. To capture these developments, NEWSWEEK devised a ranking of global universities that takes into account openness and diversity, as well as distinction in research.

And folks wonder why the world resents us?

Meanwhile, the reality is that considered just as educational institutions all 25 of these are as good or better than any of the schools on the list.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 23, 2006 5:05 PM

Got a great education at a small liberal arts college back in the day, but that was before PC and before religion was banished from the halls of academe. Big U for law school though. Go # 48.

Posted by: jdkelly at August 23, 2006 5:51 PM

Interesting assortment. La Belle didn't make the cut.

Posted by: erp at August 23, 2006 6:13 PM

Let's look at their measurements:

Fifty percent of the score came from equal parts of three measures used by Shanghai Jiatong: the number of highly-cited researchers in various academic fields, the number of articles published in Nature and Science, and the number of articles listed in the ISI Social Sciences and Arts & Humanities indices. Another 40 percent of the score came from equal parts of four measures used by the Times: the percentage of international faculty, the percentage of international students, citations per faculty member (using ISI data), and the ratio of faculty to students. The final 10 percent came from library holdings (number of volumes).

So it comes down to how many articles the bigshot academics publish (which means less time for instruction of students), how many times they are cited, the usual talk about diversity, the demonstrably overrated student-teacher ratio, and the number of books directly available in the library rather than through, say, an interlibrary loaning program.

If you were primarily concerned about getting a good education or simply advancing a career, most of these things wouldn't even make your list of top ten considerations. I suspect the authors simply asked top college presidents what makes for a good college and were inundated with the usual academic puffery. Spare me.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at August 23, 2006 8:05 PM

What a silly list! UC San Francisco ranks higher than Princeton? I rather my kids have a Princeton degree than a degree from UC San Francisco any day.

Posted by: ic at August 23, 2006 8:07 PM

2 guys with a good idea and a garage to launch it out of will outperform their respective domain's Microsoft or Accenture.

Those two guys (or gals) are probably drop outs of some IVY (old or new).

So much for hierarchies.

I'd rather my kid gets into Heaven over Harvard any day.

Posted by: Bruno at August 23, 2006 9:03 PM

If I were counselling parents regarding where to send their kids for college, I'd say the most important thing is to find a place where the faculty will actually be the ones teaching their kids. I went to Rochester, which is on oj's second list, and aside from odd t.a. in freshman calc and biology didn't see a grad student or adjunct prof until sr year, when I had a last minute replacement for Vict lit when a prof went on sabatical.

Most of my friends who went to the big ivies didn't see any of the bigname profs til jr year. It's similar the in the renowned Common Core at UChicago, where postdocs and grad students teach most of it.

It's one thing to be taught by adjuncts and grad students when it's State U and the price is right, quite another when its an Ivy or other private university costing 40 large.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at August 23, 2006 9:17 PM


UCSF's inclusion is a little odd. It is a medical/dental school - no undergraduate studies are offered. Great med school, though.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at August 24, 2006 1:00 AM

Getting into one of the ivies or other selective school on the list means one thing, you made the first cut. Snob appeal. You bet.

If your kid gets in and you can in any way swing it, you won't be sorry. A baseball analogy. Playing in the minors may be just as much fun and there may even be more fame and fortune, but it's not the majors. It's just that simple.

Getting an education? Well that's a whole other question beginning with what you mean by an education.

Posted by: erp at August 24, 2006 6:19 AM

Imperial at No 17? Meh. We're a lot better than Oxford (No. 8).

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at August 24, 2006 8:39 AM


If you're looking for a college that has high placement rates in various industries, you can't do much better than any college in Iowa, Nebraska, or both Dakotas. Of course, those state's colleges lead the nation in percentage of college grads leaving their respective states, too. Must be the lack of Starbucks in those states, I guess:)

And BTW, when I went to school at a college in South Dakota, every class was taught by a tenured professor.

Posted by: Brad S at August 24, 2006 9:22 AM