I have probably written more than I should about rankings, and especially the Times Higher Education Supplement list and its flaws and shortcomings, but I just couldn’t resist… Here is a preview of this years results [last year between brackets]:

1 [1] Harvard US
2 [2] Cambridge UK
2 [3] Oxford UK
2 [4] Yale US
5 [9] Imperial College UK
6 [10] Princeton US
7 [7] Caltech US
7 [11] University of Chicago US
9 [25] University College London UK
10 [4] MIT US
(…)
16 [16] Australian National University AU
27 [22] University of Melbourne AU
31 [35] University of Sydney AU

The full top 100 can be found here

For what it’s worth…

Update: Richard Holmes at the University Ranking Watch has plenty of coverage on the issue. See also University World News for a special issue on the THES ranking and rankings in general.

Related Posts:

International Rankings: a self-fulfilling nightmare?

Counting what is measured and measuring what counts

SJT World University Rankings 2008

Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2008

This article has 21 comments

  1. Mr. Smart

    THES-QS has finally come up with changes that ensure their final loss of credibility. Look at where Stanford is and who come above it. Not even the people in the latter universities believe their place is better than Stanford. Perhaps the ensuing giggles will finally force THES-QS to get serious and stop peddling propaganda.

  2. Anonymous

    It is funny that they still dare not touch Harvard. But who knows? Next year we may see Harvard in a 100+ ranking.

    How ridiculous this is:
    Who cares about Imperial or UCL?

    Cambridge should be in the top ten, but not no.2

    Let alone Oxford, should be in the 10+

    London favors London…

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  4. anonymous

    i think the stanford has been overrated for the past year,and it seems that the standing is appropriate this year.this is exactly what i thought of the university ranking.

  5. Anonymous

    I like the comment “London favors London…”

    Seems to me more like an ailing economy resorting to unscrupulous ranking to woo international students!

  6. ...

    If they already have their ranking in mind, they should just announce their ranking without wasting time to survey. But they are just afraid that they will lose credibility, so they survey and then set the methodology in order to have their pre-determined ranking.

    Rubbish! Look at where Stanford and Berkeley are.

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  8. anon

    I strongly disagree with the first responder, who does not know what he or she is talking about: as one of “those people at one of the universities ahead of Stanford”, I do believe the place is better than Stanford (easily). I also feel Harvard deserves its first ranking, absolutely. There is nothing ridiculous about it, rather I think the rankings are good and that the THES is converging on the actual reality.

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  10. Learned African

    The criteria used favors the rich and assumes that a poor man is dull. There should be a standard accessible buy all the universities to make these ranking.Why is it that, for example, an average african student can meet the basic non financial requirements of entry to those first class universities but an average student in europe wont meet the academic requirements of entry to an African University…
    For example for you to enrol for a BEng in Electronic Engineering at the National University of Science & Technology in Zimbabwe you need not less than straight 3 distinctions at A Level but u can enroll at The University of Manchester or any other English university with
    just 2 distinctions and you money

  11. Gerald Hass

    Lets be open to the rankings.Personally, European universities from France and Germany should have more weightage in the rankings.

  12. JP

    The THES rankings is flawed because such a high percentage of the outcome loads on peer reviews (which can be accurate, but only if you same almost every academic in the world). If you take a look at the methodology it is clear that less than 3 percent of people actually responded to the survey. That’s like asking 2/100 people what the best fruit is and taking that to represent what the 100 people actually think.

    Another problem is where and how do they find the industry professionals to rank these universities? And what gives this select group of people the capacity over others to rank these insititutions? For instance, do professionals in the USA have enough knowledge to rank universities from say South America or Japan?

    Anyone who have lived through the research world of academia would know that academics are so focused on their own research that most don’t even have the capacity to comment on the research of other academics in the same discipline e.g. business (accounting vs. econometrics) or psychology (social vs. biological) so what gives them the capacity to rank other universities at the entire holistic level?

    The bottom line is that you cannot rank universities at a world level because each university has it’s own specialist strengths and weaknesses. It does nothing but misinforms the uninformed (and those unwilling to be informed***) and misguides public/social policy.

    *** by this I mean those wikipedia university page moderators who continually reference the THES despite substantial evidence regarding it’s credibility.

  13. john

    I have graduated from berkeley and i have found it terrible for the quality of teaching.i am sure that ucla is better for the quality of teaching. this is why i hate all these rankings they are all rubbish.

  14. hate this

    all nonsense.. NUS was never 33.. always 100 plus.. look at other sites for reference.. even the sites that my school recommends show rankings far from this.. its biased and reflects rankings far from reality.. RUBBISH

  15. Usman

    Well thats not fair what about my Bradford University, which is a leading university in all respects

  16. Matthew

    THES is just another methodology, just like ARWU, or any of the national newspaper rankings.

    Most people who comment on these are disgruntled students comparing with ARWU. These people are doing their university no favours.
    Peer review is the gold standard for academic reputation, dare I explain this – because their opinion is more important. Arguably, what do Fields medals or Nobel prizes have anything to do with the quality of teaching or reputation of an institution, or at least 30% of it? Similarly, articles published in Science or Nature (20%) – showing natural science bias and English speaking bias.

    None of these rankings are perfect and none are better than the others – because they are all flawed.

  17. Hind edrees

    I would like to know the ranking for Johns Hopkins Univercity in Special Education please.

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