Prince­ton, Cal top col­lege rank­ings

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By AMY HE in New York amyhe@chi­nadai­

Prince­ton Uni­ver­sity re­mains the best pri­vate uni­ver­sity in the US, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est US News & World Re­port col­lege rank­ings, and the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia Berke­ley — which has a large Chi­nese-stu­dent pres­ence — is the top pub­lic school in the US.

US News re­leased its 2017 Best-Col­leges rank­ings on Tues­day, and the top pri­vate uni­ver­si­ties are Prince­ton, Har­vard Uni­ver­sity, Uni­ver­sity of Chicago, Yale Uni­ver­sity, Columbia Uni­ver­sity, Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity, the Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, Duke Uni­ver­sity, Uni­ver­sity of Pennsylvania and Johns Hop­kins Uni­ver­sity.

Of those, Columbia Uni­ver­sity has the most in­ter­na­tional stu­dents from China.

The top pub­lic uni­ver­si­ties in the coun­try are UC Berke­ley, UCLA, the Uni­ver­sity of Vir­ginia, the Uni­ver­sity of Michigan and the Uni­ver­sity of North Carolina.

Of the pub­lic uni­ver­si­ties, UC Berke­ley and UCLA have the high­est num­ber of Chi­nese in­ter­na­tional stu­dents, ac­cord­ing to a list com­piled by For­eign Pol­icy magazine.

Wil­liams Col­lege in Mas­sachusetts was se­lected as the best lib­eral arts col­lege for the 14th year in a row.

The list of schools, pub­lished an­nu­ally and used of­ten by prospec­tive col­lege stu­dents, is based on 15 mea­sures of aca­demic qual­ity, such as stu­dent grad­u­a­tion and re­ten­tion rates.

US News also in­cluded a list of schools with the most in­ter­na­tional stu­dents to bet­ter help in­ter­na­tional stu­dents who are in­ter­ested in study­ing abroad. The list is widely con­sulted by Chi­nese stu­dents, and the me­dia com­pany pub­lishes ar­ti­cles in Chi­nese to let stu­dents and their par­ents un­der­stand the col­lege ad­mis­sions process, how to work with agents, and pay­ing for col­lege.

“US col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly global and are find­ing new ways to sup­port their in­ter­na­tional stu­dents. There is an in­flux of Chi­nese stu­dents look­ing to study in the US, and US News wants them to have easy ac­cess to trusted in­for­ma­tion that caters to their unique needs and helps them find the right col­lege,” said Anita Narayan, man­ag­ing ed­i­tor of ed­u­ca­tion at US News.

“For both in­ter­na­tional and US stu­dents, a col­lege choice can pro­foundly af­fect ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties, fi­nan­cial well­be­ing and qual­ity of life.

The US News rank­ings can help prospec­tive stu­dents nav­i­gate through the process of find­ing the right col­lege, and can pro­vide se­cu­rity and set ex­pec­ta­tions for their in­vest­ments,” she said to China Daily.

De­spite the pop­u­lar­ity of the rank­ings list, it also has faced crit­i­cism from ed­u­ca­tion ex­perts who say that the way US News ranks the col­leges is in­con­sis­tent year to year, mak­ing it hard to gauge why a cer­tain col­lege out­ranks an­other.

Crit­ics, such as the non­profi Ed­u­ca­tion Con­ser­vancy, say that the list im­plies a “false pre­ci­sion and au­thor­ity that is not war­ranted by the data US News uses” and over­weighs a uni­ver­sity’s pres­tige.

The ed­u­ca­tion or­ga­ni­za­tion said in a 2007 let­ter to col­lege pres­i­dents protest­ing the rank­ing that the list re­flects lit­tle to noth­ing about stu­dents’ abil­i­ties to learn at the uni­ver­si­ties.

There also have been ex­am­ples of col­leges try­ing to game the sys­tem in or­der to earn a higher rank­ing on the list, such as Clare­mont-McKenna Col­lege in Cal­i­for­nia, which was caught in 2012 for pro­vid­ing US News with false SAT scores.

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