Saturday, August 30, 2008

Funny funny. World University ratings

Here. Entertaining because there were only two criteria used to judge the Universities: amount of Nobel and Fields prizes associated with the university and its graduates and number of citations in journals that people associated with the universities had. The Fields prize is the social science Nobel. Oh, and they also took into account the number of articles published in Science and Nature. The study was commissioned by China and its purpose was to judge how far Chinese universities were behind universities in the rest of the science and technology. That isn't said in the article but it has to be the purpose because if they were trying to judge it by either the humanities or by the social sciences the results would be meaningless. But it leads to some funny listings. Where lots and lots of papers get published, the rankings are higher....let's see some records:


"University of Washington: 16

École Normale Supérieure - Paris: 73

California Institute of Technology: 6

Brown University: 71"


University of California San Diego: 13

Sapienza University of Rome (founded in 1303): 100

University of California Los Angeles: 14

Free University of Berlin: 99

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne: 25

Moscow State University: 70"

*on edit: the same year that Sapienza University of Rome got the 100 ranking it tied for the spot with another august center of learning: Arizona State University.

Of course there are a couple of schools that are in the top of the rankings that are also very good on liberal arts and social sciences, like Columbia, Princeton, and Cambridge, but this is a nice way of illustrating the absurdities of it all.

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