October 27, 2013

Education: World University Rankings, 2013: US at the top

After the American Century                                                                                                                                                         

The 2013 world university rankings from The Times resemble the list for years past, with some slight movement  up and down. The same universities are in the top ten as two years ago, though in a slightly different order. and there are no major changes in the top twenty, except that Duke has moved up from 22 to 17, while University College, London, has fallen from 17 to 21. The top 20 are, with the single exception of the technical university in Zurich, exclusively in Britain and North America. According to The Times, twenty-two of the top thirty universities and thirty of the top fifty, are in the United States. Britain is also strongly represented in the top fifty, with the rest of Europe dominant in the rankings between fifty and one hundred.

The highest ranking universities in Asia are Tokyo (23) and Singapore (26). The highest ranked in the EU outside Britain are the Karolinska Institute in Sweden (36) and the University of Munich (55).  The only African University ranked in the top 200 is the University of Cape Town (126). No university in all of Latin America is in the top 200, and only three are in the top 400.

University                   score              ranking, 2011-12

  1. Cal Tech               94.9                1
  2. Harvard                93.9                2
  3. Oxford                  93.9                4
  4. Stanford                93.8                3
  5. MIT                      93.0                7
  6. Princeton              92.7                5
  7. Cambridge            92.3                6
  8. Berkeley               89.9               10
  9. Chicago                87.8                 9
  10. Imperial College  87.5                 8
  11. Yale                      87.4                11
  12. UCLA                  86.3                13
  13. Columbia              85.2               12
  14. ETH Zurich          84.5               15
  15. Johns Hopkins      83.7               14
  16. Pennsylvania        81.0               16
  17. Duke                     79.3               22
  18. Michigan              79.2               18
  19. Cornell                  79.1               20
  20. Toronto                 78.3               19

The point spread between the top ten universities is only 7.4. Evidently, these ten are all on a very high plane. The fall in the next ten is larger, 9.1, and for the following ten it is 7.2.  After that, however, the differences between universities are smaller, and if graphed would show a flattening line. Between ranking 30 and 50 the fall is only 6.6, and from 50 to 100 it is but a little more than 10. 

Aside from looking at location, one can say that there are about 20 universities in a class by themselves, and about 30 more are quite strong and conceivably could move up, followed by 50 strong universities. After the first hundred it levels off. The scores of universities ranked between 100 and 200 drop less than the difference between numbers 1 and 10. 

The Times also ranks universities from 200 to 400, but does not issue scores, presumably because they are clustered so tightly together. Instead, groups of 25 are listed together.  To see the complete list and other information, click here.