World university rankings

The world university rankings have just been released by the three ranking agencies-Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Academic Ranking of World University (ARWU) compiled by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and the QS World University Rankings. In an unexpected comeback, University of Cambridge, UK, has topped the QS World University Ranking this year-despite major slashing of UK government funds for 2010-11. Harvard University, US, has topped both the ARWU and Times Higher Education World University Rankings. In the fact, the US clearly dominates the world ranking scenario. While the QS rankings have six US universities in the top 10, Times Higher Education World University Rankings have US bagging all the top-five spot. In fact, US have bagged seven of the top 10 places and 27 of its universities figure in the top 50. In the ARWU Rankings the four top positions have been bagged by the American universities while 17 of the top 20 are American universities.

As to the US performances experts feel that apart from offering a good salary to its academics that ensures a strong faculty the Us budget for tertiary education it almost twice than that of its almost twice than that of its competitors.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong is making its presence felt. In fact, in both the QS and Times higher education world university Rankings Also, Taiwan has bagged a decent place across the three rankings Thailand , Israel, South Korea and Turkey are some of the other nations that features in any of the three rankings or in two of the three.

However, India finds no place in the top 100 in any of the three rankings while IIT Bombay is ranked at 187 in the QS rankings India figures nowhere in the top 2001 the other two rankings.

Ranking methodology

Though the methodology used by ranking agencies has always generated controversy global rankings do hold importance for the academic community across the world. While university league tables tend to over simplify the range of achievement at institutions it is a particularly pleasing to note that the excellence of the transformation research carried out at Cambridge is so well regarded by fellow academics worldwide.

This year following criticism about paling too much emphasis on peer review in its earlier methodology, Times Higher Education world University Rankings has developed a new methodology with its new data partner. An important principle of the new times higher education world university Rankings is that all universities that we list have actively cooperated with the system and signed off their data.

This system is designed to be a useful and rigorous tool for the global higher education community.

However it is unfortunate that we did not manage to collect as much information from India this time as we would have liked which is a real shame for India. The world needs to get clear sense of its higher education provision, as expectations are so high and India’s potential is so great.

QS utilizes a variety of sources Beyond the well documented surveys of academics and employers, we draw citations data from Scopus (a database maintained by Elsevier) which is the world’s largest abstract and citation database, we refer to a wide range of national statistics sources such as HESA (UK) , NCES (US) and JASSO (Japan). Where such bodies are unavailable or carry incomplete data we refer to university websites. In addition, we invite each university to submit data directly to us; all data are checked against previous submissions and against corroborating sources where available.

ARWU considers every university that has any Nobel laureates Fields medalists highly cited researchers or papers published in nature or science.

In addition universities with significant mount of papers indexed by Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) and Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) are also included. In total more than 1,000 universities are actually ranked and the best 500 are published n the web.

Ranking Relevance

Reporter higher education, UK one option wile beginning a global search is scouring one of the annual world university rankings. Despite limitations she feels they give a good idea about a university’s standing.

For Indian students, rankings are indeed important. Global rankings play a big role in the choice of a university. Apart from offering a perspective abut a university’s cores strengths and overall profile it helps one of figure out one’s chances vis-à-vis best universities in the world.

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