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US Universities Are Tops, Say Shanghai Rankings

US Universities Are Tops, Say Shanghai Rankings
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Lately the US has been taking a bit of a beating on the world stage. No one was impressed by the partisan wrangling during the negotiations to raise the debt-ceiling. The US then proceeded to lose its AAA credit rating from Standard and Poor’s for the first time ever, an ignominious come-down further fueled by China scolding the US for its “addiction to debt” and “living beyond its means” like some spendthrift child. But there’s one category in which the US continues to dominate as even China acknowledges, higher education.

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, US universities rank tops in the Academic Ranking of World Universities. This list is published annually by Jiao Tong University in Shanghai and all but two of the top ten places are occupied by US institutions. Here’s the full list from Xinhua:

  1. Harvard University (USA)
  2. Stanford University (USA)
  3. MIT (USA)
  4. University of California at Berkeley (USA)
  5. Cambridge University (UK)
  6. Cal Tech (USA)
  7. Princeton University (USA)
  8. Columbia University (USA)
  9. University of Chicago (USA)
  10. Oxford University (UK)

The Chronicle of Higher Education does note that there is ” growing criticism of international reliance on university rankings, and efforts to develop alternative systems for evaluating and comparing institutions are gaining ground.” The Shanghai rankings are weighted heavily towards research output in the sciences and do not take humanities programs into account.

In June, the European Union introduced a new ranking tool named U-Multibank, which allows users to determine how much they want to weigh each factor. That is, U-Multibank operates from the premise that there is no such thing as an objective ranking and allows users to develop personalized rankings.

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US Universities Are Tops

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4:17PM PDT on Sep 3, 2011

Hey, at least whatever criteria can cheer up the US a bit. We have been pummeled lately.

10:56AM PDT on Aug 17, 2011

Most everyone is using the wrong criteria for judging the universities. They are supposed to be the centers of earning and teaching not research yet it is the latter what they have become sacrificing teaching. People who praise such universities, and most US universities are research based now, are doing the praising to come here and work with our researchers and take back what they find here to cut the cost of their own R&D.
and beat us to the punch.

Wake up people. Praise is always blinding but it is the truth which will save us provided we are open and analytical enough to face it. The fact is that our universities, both for profit and not for profit are businesses keen on making money at any cost, even at the expense of their student's future and that of our country's.

8:03PM PDT on Aug 16, 2011


5:12PM PDT on Aug 16, 2011

Despite Stanford hosting The Hoover Institute, it is far from fact, just as liberal and left as UC Berkeley back in the '80s when I was there....faculty and students!

my favorite story about Stanford is that when the university wanted to change the mascot... the students voted for The Robber Barons..."to truly let the world know about Leland Stanford" and his history....

2:17PM PDT on Aug 16, 2011

Never thought highly of either Stanford OR UC Berkeley. Kinda a Righty vs. Lefty scenario and we centrists (we're the ones with good sense) care for neither.

2:15PM PDT on Aug 16, 2011


10:36AM PDT on Aug 16, 2011

As for Stanford's rep for being an enlightened arena: there is a very good reason the ultra-conservative think tank THE HOOVER FOUNDATION resides there.

Also FRIEDNS WHO ATTENDED STANFORD SANS the "silver spoon in mouth background" maintain that their schoolmates by and large are spoiled self-centered progeny of wealthy families who have no interest in contributing to the well-being of "the world" but rather to the continuance of their family's growing wealth.

I live in the SF bay area and I find the oxymoron of rep vs reality for Stanford very ironic.

9:36AM PDT on Aug 16, 2011

Speaking personally (having luckily been to both UK and American universities) I'm not so sure.....but then again it is somewhat subjective and I won't make an issue of it.

9:29AM PDT on Aug 16, 2011

Thanks for the information.

8:36AM PDT on Aug 16, 2011

Did you know that Stanford is owned by the oil companies, do you believe they teach reality or propaganda. If you look in Scientific American magazine and on their web site the biggest advertisers are the oil companies I used to get the magazine until I realized they never had articles about the electric car, or the hydrogen car that were promoting them in anyway positive and most were negative, in fact they have had very little to say on these subjects, we are being bamboozeled. Until we oust the oil companies we will be in the dark on what we can achieve, for the future

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