Climb­ing Ivy League

Har­vard leads US Col­lege Rank­ings

THE (Times Higher Education) - - FRONT PAGE - El­lie.both­well@timeshigh­ere­d­u­ca­tion.com

Har­vard Uni­ver­sity has topped a rank­ing of US univer­si­ties and col­leges that is fu­elled by data from Times Higher Ed­u­ca­tion.

The Ivy League uni­ver­sity jumps one place to take the top spot in the sec­ond an­nual edi­tion of the Wall Street Jour­nal/Times Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Col­lege Rank­ings, while last year’s leader Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity drops down to joint third.

Columbia Uni­ver­sity climbs three places to sec­ond place, while the Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy holds in joint third place.

The top 10 is com­pleted by Duke Uni­ver­sity, Yale Uni­ver­sity, the Cal­i­for­nia In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia, Prince­ton Uni­ver­sity and Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity.

Un­like the THE World Uni­ver­sity Rank­ings, which fo­cus on univer­si­ties’ re­search per­for­mance, the US ta­ble mea­sures in­sti­tu­tions’ stu­dent en­gage­ment, stu­dent out­comes and learn­ing en­vi­ron­ments.

This year, Har­vard achieved higher scores for en­gage­ment, which mea­sures how well stu­dents en­gaged with learn­ing and in­ter­acted with their teach­ers and peers, as well as en­vi­ron­ment, which looks at the di­ver­sity of the stu­dent body and fac­ulty.

In con­trast, Stan­ford achieved lower scores in the re­sources pil­lar, which mea­sures fi­nance per stu­dent, fac­ulty per stu­dent and re­search pa­pers per fac­ulty, and the out­comes pil­lar, which in­cludes met­rics on the graduation rate and the value added by the teach­ing at a col­lege to grad­u­ate salary and to grad­u­ates’ abil­ity to re­pay stu­dent debt.

The last is a new met­ric that was not in­cluded in last year’s rank­ing and this al­ters the weight­ing of the other out­comes in­di­ca­tors, but oth­er­wise the method­ol­ogy is largely the same as last year.

Cal­tech is the only new­comer to the top 10, join­ing in seventh place, up from 12th last year. In con­trast, North­west­ern Uni­ver­sity has fallen from 10th place to joint 15th.

Mean­while, the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Los An­ge­les is the top pub­lic uni­ver­sity in 25th place, up from 28th. It over­takes the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan, which falls five places to 27th.

UCLA achieved a slightly higher score on en­gage­ment, while Michi­gan was hurt by a drop in its re­sources and out­comes scores.

The US rank­ing in­cludes the re­sults of the THE US Stu­dent Sur­vey, which gath­ered the views of more than 200,000 cur­rent uni­ver­sity stu­dents in 2016 and 2017 to find out about their en­gage­ment with their stud­ies, their in­ter­ac­tion with their teach­ers and their sat­is­fac­tion with their ex­pe­ri­ence.

It also draws on the THE Aca­demic Rep­u­ta­tion Sur­vey, in or­der to de­ter­mine which in­sti­tu­tions have the best rep­u­ta­tion for ex­cel­lence in teach­ing.

A full anal­y­sis of the re­sults of the WSJ/THE US Col­lege Rank­ings will be pub­lished in THE on 19 Oc­to­ber.

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