Sunday, October 30, 2005

Chinese rank world universities

I stumbled across a website that has nothing to do with law but I thought I'd share it anyhow. A university in Shanghai has ranked the universities of the world and posted their findings. Harvard is first, Cambridge second, and good ol' Queen's is about 164th. Within Canada, they claim that Queen's is ranked 6th to 8th. For comparison, McLean's recently ranked Queen's at 5th in the Medical Doctoral category.

I think this ranking says more about the Chinese researchers than about the universities. For example, it seems to reaffirm a US-centric view of "the best" in the world. Of the top 20 schools, 17 are American. To me, that's ridiculous. The University of California - San Diego, while a fine school, does not rank above Tokyo University ("Todai" in Japan), Australian National University or UofT (ranked 24th) by using any set of criteria. Except, perhaps, tuition. :)

Even more curious, the researchers place Beijing/Peking University, generally regarded as the best university in China, at a distant 230th. Is the purpose of their findings just to give Chinese university administrators a kick in the butt? It seems like a curious but meaningless ranking system.


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