Monday, May 30, 2011

World University Rankings

Rankings--higher education has a love/hate relationships with rankings. We love them if the numbers move up and we hate them if we move down. We cavalierly say that those numbers are not that meaningful; yet we wait impatiently for the US News and World Report to issue their latest release. Fortunately, for WFU, we have risen up those ranks in the last few years. That makes presenting WFU to international parents much easier. But if we are truly in a global market for higher education, how does WFU stand in relationship to schools around the world? If US parents patiently wait for the publication of the latest rankings, international parents are even more anxious as they must make decisions often without first-hand knowledge of an American campus. Ranking systems do matter.

I spent most of this day with QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) learning about their products, particularly their world ranking system of colleges and universities. They have devised a way to rank international schools that honor the individual character of the school in a way not dependent on the performance of other institutions. In the current system of ranking, there is only one #1. Yet, we all know that there are many, many excellent universities in the United States that also deserve a top spot. I intend on watching and learning more about this innovative, new system of international ranking that highlights the attributes of many excellent schools without limiting the rank to only one spot (

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