Every year, high school graduates think about which university to enter. Choosing a future profession is one of the most important decisions in the life of every person, so it is very important to choose the right educational institution. In this article, we will talk about the best universities in the world. If you need to earn money for education – try casino online.
Why is it important to understand rankings?
With the help of ratings, universities can be compared according to the criteria that are really important for an applicant: the quality of teaching, the percentage of deductions, the number of English speakers, the state of equipment in laboratories, and so on. Don’t fall for the stereotype that the goal of any brilliant student is to get into Oxford or Cambridge. Everyone has their own ideal university, and it may well turn out that the most popular and “prestigious” ones do not suit you personally.
There are several authoritative rankings, each of which can place universities in a completely different order. At the same time, the composition of the top 50 in them coincides by 60-70%. You need to understand that all ratings are statistics and survey results, which are not always confirmed in practice. The Ivy League graduates several thousand students every year, but not every one of them becomes a great inventor or even finds a high-paying job.
Types of ratings
In general, all ratings can be divided by coverage: global and national.
There are about 20 world universities. Usually they compare from 500 to 1500 universities. They use their own methodologies, which is why not all universities will have the same positions. In one ranking, a university may have a high position due to reviews, and in another, a low position due to fewer published studies.
National ratings are suitable for those who have already decided on the country. These include, for example, CHE University Ranking (Germany), The Complete University Guide (UK), Niche (USA).
There are more than 60 national ratings in total. The choice in them is much wider than in international ones, but not all of them can be of high quality and objective. Part of the national ratings are government organizations, the other part – private companies or the media. The latter, due to lack of resources, can raise the position of universities for money or provide false/outdated information.
Both world and national rankings can have a specialization:
- in the field of study: technical sciences, medicine, art, MBA, etc.;
- by level of education: bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral studies, preparatory programs;
- by a specific indicator: the number of employed graduates, reputation, research work, and so on.
How are university rankings compiled?
We will talk about popular world rankings and their methodology a little later. Here we propose to consider the key factors that influence the positions of universities.
Science and research
Perhaps the most important factor in rankings and the most misleading factor in choosing a university. The scientific potential of the university is evaluated according to several criteria:
- publications in significant natural science journals;
- citation of scientific works;
- the number of university-related scientific prize winners.
In different ratings, these indicators range from 20 to 100% of the total score. They are of the greatest importance in the ARWU. In THE, the “weight” of publications and citations is 60% of all criteria. A little less attention is paid to it in QS Rankings – only 20%.
There is also a Webometrics rating, which ranks universities by the frequency of mentions and the number of publications on the Internet (only open access articles are taken into account). It is more objective than QS and THE, since it does not take into account the prestige of universities – it only looks at specific figures for scientific indicators. And still, the first places in it are occupied by Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, MIT and other well-known universities. But this is logical, because in their history they have produced hundreds of Nobel laureates and tens of thousands of revolutionary articles. They did millions of important studies, which attracted more funding, other brilliant scientists, and so on.
If you are really going to do postdoctoral research or study MRes (master’s degree in research) and PhD programs, then the factor of science and research will be one of the main factors for you when choosing a university. Otherwise, pay more attention to other indicators.
This is the ratio of the number of students to the number of teachers. In QS Ranking, it is 20% of the total score. The top lines according to the criterion are occupied by American and British universities, which is not surprising. The university system there is so developed that there are about 10 students per teacher, and 300 per professor at a European university. This factor is more important than it seems at first glance. After all, in most cases, a student will learn better information in a small room at a seminar than in a huge hall at a lecture. So it directly affects the quality of teaching.
The number of foreign students is also taken into account, but to a lesser extent, and is only 10% of the grade in QS and 7.5% in THE. This indicator affects the chances of a foreign student to enter and take part in scientific projects.
In addition to the above, there are other factors. Some of them relate more to the staff than to students, but in one way or another they have an impact on the educational process. For example:
- attractiveness of the university as an employer;
- income from implemented innovations developed by the university;
- number of university employees with a PhD degree.
Next, we invite you to get acquainted with the most famous world rankings, so that you know what indicators they consider when evaluating universities, and why this or that university actually takes its place.