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The College and university rankings are a lists of universities and liberal arts colleges in higher education, an order determined by any combination of factors. Rankings can be based on subjectively perceived "quality," on some combination of empirical statistics, or on surveys of educators, scholars, students, prospective students or others. Rankings are often consulted by prospective students and their parents in the university and college admissions process.

In addition to rankings of institutions, there are also rankings of specific academic programs, departments, and schools. Rankings are conducted by magazines and newspapers and in some instances by academic practitioners. (See, for example, law school rankings in the United States.)

Rankings may vary significantly from country to country. Colleges outside of the English speaking world are believed to have a distinct disadvantage. A Cornell Universitymarker study found that the rankings in the United Statesmarker significantly affected colleges' applications and admissions. In the United Kingdommarker, several newspapers publish league tables which rank universities.

There has been much debate since the late 1990s about both the usefulness and political correctness of college rankings in the United States. Some higher education experts, like Kevin Carey of Education Sector, have argued that such rankings as the U.S. News and World Report's college rankings system is merely a list of criteria that mirrors the superficial characteristics of elite colleges and universities. According to Carey, "[The] U.S. News ranking system is deeply flawed. Instead of focusing on the fundamental issues of how well colleges and universities educate their students and how well they prepare them to be successful after college, the magazine's rankings are almost entirely a function of three factors: fame, wealth, and exclusivity." He suggests that there are more important characteristics parents and students should research to select colleges, such as how well students are learning and how likely students are to earn a degree.

International rankings from regional organizations

Several regional organizations provide worldwide rankings, including:

Academic Ranking of World Universities

The Academic Ranking of World Universities compiled by the Shanghai Jiao Tong Universitymarker, which was a large-scale Chinese project to provide independent rankings of universities around the world primarily to measure the gap between Chinese and "world class" universities. The results have often been cited by The Economist magazine in ranking universities of the world [53446]. As with all rankings, there are issues of methodology, and one of the primary criticisms of the ranking is its bias towards the natural sciences, over other subjects and English language science journals. This is evidenced by the inclusion of criteria such as the volume of articles published by Science or Nature (both Journals devoted to the natural sciences published in English), or the number of Nobel Prize winners (which are predominantly awarded to the physical sciences) and Fields Medalists (mathematics). In addition to the criticisms, a 2007 paper from the peer-reviewed journal Scientometrics finds that the results from the Shanghai university rankings are irreproducible.

G-Factor

A ranking of university and college web presence, the G-Factor methodology counts the number of links only from other university websites relying solely on Google's search engine. The G-Factor is an indicator of the popularity or importance of each university's website from the combined perspectives of the creators of many other university websites. It is therefore claims to be a kind of extensive and objective peer review of a university through its website - in social network theory terminology, the G-Factor measures the centrality of each university's website in the network of university websites.

Global University Ranking

Global University Ranking is ranking of over 400 "world-known" universities by the RatER, a Russianmarker-based non-commercial independent rating agency supported by the academic society of Russia. The methodology uses the pool of universities from what it has determined are the four main global rankings (Academic Rankings of World Universities, HEEACT, Times-QS, and Webometrics) and utilizes a pool of "experts" formed by project officials and managers to determine the rating scales for every indicator of performance of the universities in seven areas including academic performance, research performance, faculty expertise, resource availability, socially significant activities of graduates, international activities of the university, and international opinion of foreign universities. Each expert performs his own evaluation of performance indicators of all the universities. The final evaluation of each indicator is determined as the average of all the expert evaluations.

HEEACT - Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities

The Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities is a bibliometric based ranking produced by the Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan. The performance measures are composed of eight indicators (11 years articles, Current articles, 11 years citations, Current citations, Average citations, H-index, Highly cited papers, High Impact journal articles) representing three different criteria of scientific papers performance: research productivity, research impact, and research excellence. This project employs bibliometric methods to analyze and rank the scientific papers performances of the top 500 worlds' universities and the top 300 worlds' universities among six fields.

The HEEACT performance ranking system is designed for research universities. The objective indicators used in this ranking system are designed measure both long-term and short-term research performance of each university. The 2007 ranking methodology was determined to favor universities with medical schools, and in response, HEEACT added additional fields of ranking to the ranking. The six fields based rankings are based on the subject categorization of WOS, including Agriculture & Environment Sciences (AGE)、Clinical Medicine (MED)、Engineering, Computing & Technology (ENG)、Life Sciences (LIFE)、Natural Sciences (SCI) and Social Sciences (SOC).

Newsweek

In August 2006, the American magazine Newsweek published a ranking of the Top 100 Global Universities, utilizing selected criteria from two pre-existing rankings (the Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University and The Times Higher Education-QS rankings), with the additional criterion of library holdings (number of volumes). It aimed at taking into account openness and diversity, as well as distinction in research'.

SCImago institutions rankings: 2009 world report

SCImago Research Group's SCImago institutions rankings: 2009 world report ranks all institutions which had more than 100 outputs indexed in the multinational publishing giant Elsevier's Scopus database in 2007. The ranking comprises 1,527 higher education institutions, 335 health organisations, 216 government organisations, 29 private bodies and 17 other organisations. SCImago derives five measures from the Scopus database: total outputs, cites per document (which are heavily influenced by field of research as well as research quality), international collaboration, normalised Scimago journal rank and normalised citations per output [53447].

THE - QS World University Rankings

Times Higher Education, a Britishmarker publication that reports specifically on issues related to higher education, in association with Quacquarelli Symonds, annually publishes the THES - QS World University Rankings, a list of 500 ranked universities from around the world. In comparison with other rankings, many more non-American universities (especially British) populate the upper tier of the THES ranking. The THES - QS ranking faces criticism due to the more subjective nature of its assessment criteria, which are largely based on a 'peer review' system of over 9000 scholars and academics in various fields.

Professional Ranking of World Universities

In contrast to academic rankings, the Professional Ranking of World Universities established in 2007 by the École nationale supérieure des mines de Parismarker intends to measure the efficiency of each university to generate leading business professionals. Its main compilation criterion is the number of Chief Executive Officers (or number 1 executive equivalent) in the among the Fortune Global 500.

Webometrics

The Webometrics Ranking of World Universities is produced by the Cybermetrics Lab (CCHS), a unit of the National Research Council (CSIC), the main public research body in Spain. It offers information about more than 6,000 universities according to their web-presence (a computerised assessment of the scholarly contents and visibility and impact of the whole university webdomain).

The Webometrics Ranking is built from a database of over 16,000 universities. The Top 6,000 universities are shown in the main rank, but even more are covered in the regional lists. Institutions from developing countries benefit from this policy as they obtain knowledge of their current position even if they are not World-Class Universities.

The ranking started in 2004 and is based on a combined indicator that takes into account both the volume of the Web contents and the visibility and impact of this web publications according to the number of external inlinks they received. The ranking is updated every January and July, providing Web indicators for universities worldwide. This approach takes into account the wide range of scientific activities represented in the academic websites, frequently overlooked by the bibliometric indicators.

Webometric indicators are provided to show the commitment of the institutions to Web publication. Thus, Universities of high academic quality may be ranked lower than expected due to a restrained web publication policy. The results show a high correlation with others Rankings but also a larger than expected presence of US & Canada universities in the Top 200, delayed positions of small and medium size biomedical institutions as well as many French, Italian and Japanese universities not in top ranks.

Wuhan University

Another ranking is by the Research Center for Chinese Science Evaluation at Wuhan Universitymarker. The ranking is based on Essential Science Indicators (ESI), which provides data of journal article publication counts and citation frequencies in over 11,000 journals around the world in 22 research fields.

Regional and national rankings

Regional and national rankings are carried out in Asia, Europe and North America.

Asia

China

The Chinese Academy of Management Science produces the Chinese university rankings.

Pakistan

Higher Education Commission in Pakistanmarker releases annual ranking of universities in Pakistan, based on strict standards. Prior to this HEC effort, there had been no formal attempts by any public or private group to establish a set of criteria and judge Pakistani institutions of higher learning.

India

In Indiamarker there is no formal system of rankings for Colleges and Universities. However, magazines like India Today, Outlook, Mint, Dataquest and EFY conduct annual surveys with listed rankings in the major disciplines. For more information, visit Engineering college rankings in India.

Philippines

Academic rankings in the Philippines are conducted by the Professional Regulation Commission and the Commission on Higher Education, and this is based on the average passing rates in all courses of all Philippine colleges and universities in the board tests.

Europe

European Union

The European Commissionmarker also weighed in on the issue, when it compiled a list of the 22 universities in the EU with the highest scientific impact [53448], measuring universities in terms of the impact of their scientific output. This ranking was compiled as part of the Third European Report on Science & Technology Indicators [53449], prepared by the Directorate General for Science and Research of the European Commission in 2003 (updated 2004).

Being an official document of the European Union (from the office of the EU commissioner for science and technology), which took several years of specialist effort to compile, it can be regarded as a highly reliable source (the full report, containing almost 500 pages of statistics is available for download free from the EU website). Unlike the other rankings, it only explicitly considers the top institutions in the EU, but ample comparison statistics with the rest of the world are provided in the full report. The report say "University College London comes out on top in both publications (the number of scientific publications produced by the university) and citations (the number of times those scientific publications are cited by other researchers)" however the table lists the top scoring university as "Univ London" indicating that the authors counted the scientific output of the University of London, rather than its individual constituent colleges.

In this ranking, the top two universities in the EU are also Oxford and Cambridge, as in the Jiao Tong and Times ranking. This ranking, however, stresses more the scientific quality of the institution, as opposed to its size or perceived prestige. Thus smaller, technical universities, such as Eindhoven (Netherlands) and Munich (Germany) are ranked third, behind Cambridge, and followed by University of Edinburgh in the UK. The report does not provide a direct comparison between EU and universities in the rest of the world - although it does compute complex scientific impact score, measured against a world average.

In December 2008, the European Commission has published a call for tenders, inviting bidders to design and test a new multi-dimensional university ranking system with global outreach. The first results of the envisaged pilot project will be available in the first half of 2011[53450].

France

Le Nouvel Observateur and other popular magazines occasionally offer rankings (in French) of universities, "Grandes écoles" and their preparatory schools, the "Prépas".

Germany

CHE UniversityRanking

The English version of the German CHE University Ranking is provided by the DAAD.

CHE ExcellenceRanking

In December 2007, a new ranking was published in Germany from the Centre for Higher Education Development. The CHE "Ranking of Excellent European Graduate Programmes" (CHE ExcellenceRanking for short) included the disciplines of biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics. The ranking is designed to support the search for master’s or doctoral programmes at higher education institutions (HEIs). Alongside this, the CHE wants to highlight the research strengths of European HEIs and provide those HEIs listed in the ranking with ideas for the further improvement of their already excellent programmes.

CHE ResearchRanking

Every year, the CHE also publishes a ResearchRanking showing the research strengths of German universities. The CHE ResearchRanking is based on the research-related data of the CHE UniversityRanking.

Ireland

The Sunday Times compiles a league of Irish universities based on a mix of criteria, for example:
  • Average points needed in the Leaving Certificate (end-of-secondary-school examination) for entry into an undergraduate course
  • Completion rates, staff-student ratio and research efficiency
  • Quality of accommodation and sports facilities
  • Non-standard entry (usually mature students or students from deprived neighbourhoods)
  • Athletics


Italy

Every year La Repubblica, in collaboration with CENSIS compiles a league of Italian universities.

Romania

A ranking of Romanian universities was published in 2006 and 2007 by the Ad Astra association of Romanian scientists.

Switzerland

The swissUp Ranking provides a ranking for Swiss university and polytechnic students. The rankings are based on comparisons with German and Austrian universities.

UK

The Research Assessment Exercises (RAE) are attempts by the UK government to evaluate the quality of research undertaken by British Universities. Each subject, called a unit of assessment is given a ranking by a peer review panel. The rankings are used in the allocation of funding each university receives from the government. The last assessment was made in 2001. The RAE provides quality ratings for research across all disciplines. Panels use a standard scale to award a rating for each submission. Ratings range from 1 to 5*, according to how much of the work is judged to reach national or international levels of excellence. Higher education institutions (HEIs) which take part receive grants from one of the four higher education funding bodies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

There are several annual University and College Rankings:
  1. Times Good University Guide
  2. Independent Complete University Guide
  3. The Sunday Times University Guide
  4. The Guardian - University Guide (mainly for undergraduate studies)


Standards of undergraduate teaching are assessed by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), an independent body established by the UK's universities and other higher education institutions in 1997. The QAA was under contract to the Higher Education Funding Council for England to assess quality for universities in England in a system of subject review. This replaced a previous system of Teaching Quality Assessments (TQAs) which aimed to assess the administrative, policy and procedural framework within which teaching took place did directly assess teaching quality. As this system of universal inspection was hugely burdensome, it was replaced by a system of information provision, one part of which is a national student survey which has been run three times, and publishes scores which have been used by the league table industry. The rankings have had to create artificial differences, however, as students are generally very satisfied.

Ukraine

Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine performs official yearly university evaluations. Zerkalo Nedeli newspaper ranked the top 200 Ukrainian universities in 2007. Kyiv Student Council ranks universities on criteria of students` satisfaction.

Latin America

Argentina

In Argentina the evaluation, accreditation, and ranking of the higher education programs is made by the National Commission for University Evaluation and Accreditation.

Brazil

See Brazil University Rankings

North America

Canada

Maclean's, a Canadian news magazine, publishes an annual ranking of Canadian Universities, called the Maclean’s University Rankings. The criteria used by the magazine include characteristics of the student body, classes, faculty, finances, the library, and reputation. The rankings are split into three categories: primarily undergraduate (schools that focus on undergraduate studies with few to no graduate programs), comprehensive (schools that have both extensive undergraduate studies and an extensive selection of graduate programs), and medical doctoral (schools that have a professional medical program and a selection of graduate programs).

These rankings have received scrutiny and criticism from universities. For example, the University of Calgarymarker produced a formal study examining the methodology of the ranking, illuminating the factors that determined the university's rank, and criticizing certain aspects of the methodology. In addition, the University of Albertamarker and the University of Torontomarker have both expressed displeasure over Maclean's ranking system. A notable difference between rankings in the United Statesmarker and Maclean's rankings, however, is that Maclean's does not include privately-funded universities in its rankings. However, the vast majority and the best-known universities in Canada are publicly funded.

Beginning in September 2006, a number (over 20) of Canadian universities, including several of the largest but less prominent, jointly refused to participate in Maclean's survey. The president of the University of Albertamarker, Indira Samarasekera, wrote of this protest that Maclean's initially filed a "Freedom of Information" request but that "it was too late" for the universities to respond. Samarasekera further stated, "Most of [the universities] had already posted the data online, and we directed Maclean’s staff to our Web sites. In instances where the magazine staff couldn’t find data on our Web site, they chose to use the previous year’s data."

USA

U.S. News & World Report College and University rankings
The best-known Americanmarker college and university rankings [53451] have been compiled since 1983 by the magazine U.S. News & World Report and are based upon data which U.S. News collects from each educational institution either from an annual survey sent to each school or from the school's website. It is also based upon opinion surveys of university faculty and administrators who do not belong to the school.. The college rankings were not published in 1984, but were published in all years since. The precise methodology used by the U.S. News rankings has changed many times, and the data are not all available to the public, so peer review of the rankings is limited. As a result, many other rankings arose and seriously challenged the result and methodology of US News's ranking, as shown in other rankings of US universities section below.
Top 40 "National Universities" according to US News & World Report, 2007
The U.S. News rankings, unlike some other such lists, create a strict hierarchy of colleges and universities in their "top tier,". Rather than ranking only groups or "tiers" of schools; the individual schools' order changes significantly every year the rankings are published. The U.S News Tiers rank from Tier 1, the highest, to Tier 4, the lowest. The most important factors in the rankings are:

  • Peer assessment: a survey of the institution's reputation among presidents, provosts, and deans of admission of other institutions
  • Retention: six-year graduation rate and first-year student retention rate
  • Student selectivity: standardized test scores of admitted students, proportion of admitted students in upper percentiles of their high-school class, and proportion of applicants accepted
  • Faculty resources: average class size, faculty salary, faculty degree level, student-faculty ratio, and proportion of full-time faculty
  • Financial resources: per-student spending
  • Graduation rate performance: difference between expected and actual graduation rate
  • Alumni giving rate


All these factors are combined according to statistical weights determined by U.S. News. The weighting is often changed by U.S. News from year to year, and is not empirically determined (the National Opinion Research Center methodology review said that these weights "lack any defensible empirical or theoretical basis"). Critics have charged that U.S. News intentionally changes its methodology every year so that the rankings change and they can sell more magazines. The first four such factors account for the great majority of the U.S. News ranking (80%, according to U.S. News's 2005 methodology), and the "reputational measure" (which surveys high-level administrators at similar institutions about their perceived quality ranking of each college and university) is especially important to the final ranking (accounting by itself for 25% of the ranking according to the 2005 methodology).

A New York Times article reported that, given the U.S. News weighting methodology, "it's easy to guess who's going to end up on top: Harvardmarker, Yalemarker and Princetonmarker round out the first three essentially every year. In fact, when asked how he knew his system was sound, Mel Elfin, the rankings' founder, often answered that he knew it because those three schools always landed on top. When a new lead statistician, Amy Graham, changed the formula in 1999 to what she considered more statistically valid, the California Institute of Technologymarker jumped to first place. Ms. Graham soon left, and a slightly modified system pushed Princeton back to No. 1 the next year." A San Francisco Chronicle article argues that almost all of US News factors are redundant and can be boiled down to one characteristic: the size of the college or university's endowment."

Some higher education experts, like Kevin Carey of Education Sector, have argued that U.S. News and World Report's college rankings system is merely a list of criteria that mirrors the superficial characteristics of elite colleges and universities. According to Carey, "[The] U.S. News ranking system is deeply flawed. Instead of focusing on the fundamental issues of how well colleges and universities educate their students and how well they prepare them to be successful after college, the magazine's rankings are almost entirely a function of three factors: fame, wealth, and exclusivity." He suggests that there are more important characteristics parents and students should research to select colleges, such as how well students are learning and how likely students are to earn a degree.

United States National Research Council Rankings
The National Research Council ranks the doctoral research programmes of universities across the US but the last time it produced a report was in 1995. There is no announced date for the next report but data collection for it began in 2006.

Faculty Scholarly Productivity rankings
The Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index by Academic Analytics ranks universities based on faculty publications, citations, research grants and awards. A total of 354 institutions are studied.

The Top American Research Universities
A research ranking of American universities is researched and published in the Top American Research Universities by The Center for Measuring University Performance. The list has been published since 2000. The measurement used in this report is based on data such as research publications, citations, recognitions and funding, as well as undergraduate quality such as SAT scores. The information used can be found in public-accessible materials, reducing the possibility of manipulation. The research method is consistent from year to year and any changes are explained in the publication itself. References from other studies are cited.

Washington Monthly College rankings
The Washington Monthly's "College Rankings", last published in 2009, began as a research report in 2005 and introduced its first official rankings in the September 2006 issue. It offers American university and college rankings based upon the following criteria:

  • a. "how well it performs as an engine of social mobility (ideally helping the poor to get rich rather than the very rich to get very, very rich)"
  • b. "how well it does in fostering scientific and humanistic research"
  • c. "how well it promotes an ethic of service to country" .


Forbes College rankings
In 2008, Forbes.com published a list of "America's Best Colleges." Forbes updated the list in 2009. The Forbes rankings use the listing of alumni published in Who's Who in America, student evaluations of professors from ratemyprofessors.com, self-reported salaries of alumni from payscale.com, four-year graduation rates, numbers of students and faculty receiving "nationally competitive awards", and four-year accumulated student debt to calculate the rankings. The 2009 rankings were praised for inclusion of less commonly recognized colleges in their rankings, as well as their higher rankings of US military academies; however, they were also criticized for their heavy emphasis on liberal arts colleges, heavy reliance on highly subjective sources, and the significantly lower rankings given to many nationally recognized colleges and research institutions, including members of the Ivy League. The validity of rankings in which the federal service academies which are completely funded with taxpayer money are compared to institutions that must find their own funds are open to question.

Forbes also published "Top Colleges For Getting Rich." These rankings are considered questionable because they were partly based upon anonymous readers' votes. For example, it ranks College of the Holy Crossmarker higher than it does Johns Hopkins University, based on figures obtained by payscale.com which ranks colleges by self-reported earnings of graduates.

Other rankings of US universities
Other organizations which compile general US annual college and university rankings include the Fiske Guide to Colleges, Princeton Review, and College Prowler. Many specialized rankings are available in guidebooks for undergraduate and graduate students, dealing with individual student interests, fields of study, and other concerns such as geographical location, financial aid, and affordability.

One commercial ranking service is Top Tier Educational Services. Student centered criteria are used and despite the two-year completely updated study, the rankings are updated every quarter from new input data. The criteria include subjective data, such as peer assessment, desirability, and objective data, such as ACT and SAT scores, and the high school GPA of admitted students.

Such new rankings schemes measures what decision makers think as opposed to why. They may or may not augment these statistics for reputation with hard, qualitative information. The authors discuss their rankings system and methodology with students but do not share their specific research tools or formulas. Again, the problem with such a ranking that uses subjective opinions is that it is very prone to personal bias, prejudice and bounded rationality. Also, public universities will be penalized because besides an academic mission, they have a social mission. They simply cannot charge as much money, or be as selective, as private universities. Also, the fact that the ranking service is a commercial company raises the question whether there are any hidden business motives behind its rankings.

Among the rankings dealing with individual fields of study is the Philosophical Gourmet Report or "Leiter Report" (after its founding author, Brian Leiter of the University of Texas at Austinmarker), a ranking of philosophy departments. This report has been at least as controversial within its field as the general U.S. News rankings, attracting criticism from many different viewpoints. Notably, practitioners of continental philosophy, who perceive the Leiter report as unfair to their field, have compiled alternative rankings.

Avery et al. recently published a working paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research titled "A Revealed Preference Ranking of U.S. Colleges and Universities." Rather than ranking programs by traditional criteria, their analysis uses a statistical model based on applicant preferences. They based their data on the applications and outcome of 3,240 high school students. The authors feel that their ranking is less subject to manipulation compared to conventional rankings (see criticism below).

The Gourman Report, which was last published in 1996, ranked the quality of undergraduate majors.

There also exist Gallup polls that ask American adults, "All in all, what would you say is the best college or university in the United States?"

Global Language Monitor produces a "TrendTopper MediaBuzz" rankings of the Top 225 US colleges and universities twice a year, according to their appearances on the internet, in blogs, social media, and global electronic and print media. It publishes overall results for both University and College categories using the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s classifications as the basis to distinguish between Universities and Liberal Arts Colleges. The rankings include 125 top universities, the 100 top colleges, the change in the rankings over time, a "Predictive Quantities Indicator" (PQI) Index number (for relative rankings), as well as rankings by Momentum (yearly and 90-day snapshots), and rankings by State. Most recently, the schools were ranked on Novermber 1, 2009, with the last day of 2008 as the base, with two interim snapshots in 2009. The PQI index is produced by Global Language Monitor's proprietary PQI algorithm, which has been criticized in some academic circles for its use in a highly publicized counting of the total number of English words. The Global Language Monitor also sells the TrendTopper MediaBuzz Reputation Management solution for higher education for which "colleges and universities can enhance their standings among peers". The Global Language Monitor states that it "does not influence the Higher Education rankings in any way".

Boeing has announced it will begin ranking universities by matching employee valuations with information about the colleges its engineers attended. This will help show which colleges have produced the workers it considers most valuable. These rankings will be shared with 150 universities, along with critiques based on the work records of their graduates. Boeing has stated that these rankings would not be made public.

Virgil Griffith, a Caltech graduate student has created websites about books and music "That Make You Dumb" which have been noted by the press These list colleges ranked by test score, (the College Board does not directly provide SAT rankings of colleges) and correlations with books and music that are popular with students. In 2009, the colleges with the highest test scores were the California Institute of Technology, the Franklin W.marker Olin College of Engineeringmarker, and Yale Universitymarker.

Mexico

Estudio Comparativo de Universidades Mexicanas (ECUM)
Mexican colleges, universities and other research institutions have been compared in the Estudio Comparativo de Universidades Mexicanas (ECUM) produced within the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México(UNAMmarker). ECUM provides data on intitutional participation in articles on ISI Web of Knowledge indexed journals; faculty participation in each of the three levels of Mexico's National Researchers System ( SNI); graduate degrees within CONACYT's (National Council of Science and Technology) register of quality graduate programs ( PNPC); and number of academic research bodies (cuerpos academicos) according to the Secretariat of Public Educationmarker (SEP) program PROMEP.

ECUM provides online access to data for 2007 and 2008 through the Explorador de datos del ECUM (ExECUM). Institutional data can be visualized through three options:
  • a) A selection of the most prominent 58 universities (43 publics and 13 privates). This selection accounts for more than 60 percent of undergraduate and graduate enrollments. It includes public federal universities (UNAMmarker, Instituto Politécnico Nacionalmarker, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Universidad Pedagógica Nacional, Universidad del Ejercito y la Fuerza Aérea, Colegio de Méxicomarker, Universidad Autónoma de Chapingo, Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro); 35 public state universities ( UPES), and a group of private institutions that feature within ECUM's selected classification data.
  • b) Result tables for the top 20 institutions in each of the data labels in this study. These include some of the selected universities in addition to the rest of Mexico's higher education institutions, as well as institutes, centers and other research producing organizations.
  • c) A personalized selection option from more that 600 institutions. These are classified by institutional type, institutional gatherings, by activity sector or in alphabetical order.


ExECUM has been designed in order to allow users to establish comparison types and levels which they consider relevant. For this purpose data is presented in its raw form and virtually no indicators or ponderations are built within this system. Users can establish relationships between variables and build their own indicators according to their own need and analythical perspectives.

Based on this comparative study project, the Dirección General de Evaluación Institucional at UNAM, creators of ECUM, have published a first report called Desempeño de Universidades Mexicanas en la Función de Investigación: Estudio Comparativo providing an analysis of the data for 2007.

Criticism (North America)

American college and university ranking systems have drawn criticism from within and outside higher education in Canadamarker and the United Statesmarker. Some institutions critical of the ranking systems include Reed Collegemarker, Alma College, Mount Holyoke Collegemarker, St. John's College, Earlham College, MITmarker, and Stanford Universitymarker.

2007 movement

On 19 June, 2007, during the annual meeting of the Annapolis Group, members discussed the letter to college presidents asking them not to participate in the "reputation survey" section of the U.S. News and World Report survey (this section comprises 25% of the ranking). As a result, "a majority of the approximately 80 presidents at the meeting said that they did not intend to participate in the U.S. News reputational rankings in the future." However, the decision to fill out the reputational survey or not will be left up to each individual college as: "the Annapolis Group is not a legislative body and any decision about participating in the US News rankings rests with the individual institutions." The statement also said that its members "have agreed to participate in the development of an alternative common format that presents information about their colleges for students and their families to use in the college search process." This database will be web based and developed in conjunction with higher education organizations including the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council of Independent Colleges.

U.S. News and World Report editor Robert Morse issued a response on 22 June, 2007, in which he argued, "in terms of the peer assessment survey, we at U.S. News firmly believe the survey has significant value because it allows us to measure the "intangibles" of a college that we can't measure through statistical data. Plus, the reputation of a school can help get that all-important first job and plays a key part in which grad school someone will be able to get into. The peer survey is by nature subjective, but the technique of asking industry leaders to rate their competitors is a commonly accepted practice. The results from the peer survey also can act to level the playing field between private and public colleges." In reference to the alternative database discussed by the Annapolis Group, Morse also argued, "It's important to point out that the Annapolis Group's stated goal of presenting college data in a common format has been tried before [...] U.S. News has been supplying this exact college information for many years already. And it appears that NAICU will be doing it with significantly less comparability and functionality. U.S. News first collects all these data (using an agreed-upon set of definitions from the Common Data Set). Then we post the data on our website in easily accessible, comparable tables. In other words, the Annapolis Group and the others in the NAICU initiative actually are following the lead of U.S. News."

According to Gerhard Casper, the former president of Stanford, US News & World Report simply changes the formulas used to calculated financial resources. Quote:

'Knowing that universities - and, in most cases, the statistics they submit - change little from one year to the next, I can only conclude that what are changing are the formulas the magazine's number massagers employ. And, indeed, there is marked evidence of that this year. In the category "Faculty resources," even though few of us had significant changes in our faculty or student numbers, our class sizes, or our finances, the rankings' producers created a mad scramble in rank order [...data...]. Then there is "Financial resources," where Stanford dropped from #6 to #9, Harvard from #5 to #7. Our resources did not fall; did other institutions' rise so sharply? I infer that, in each case, the formulas were simply changed, with notification to no one, not even your readers, who are left to assume that some schools have suddenly soared, others precipitously plummeted.' [53452]

See also



References

External links



Further reading



Ranking publishers




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