And the best university in the world is...
October 10th, 2012
12:27 PM ET

And the best university in the world is...

By James Lindsay, CFR

Editor’s note: James Lindsay is senior vice president and director of studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. This entry of Water’s Edge was first published here. The views expressed are his own.

The new college rankings are out. No, not the rankings for football prowess (though they are out too). The Times Higher Education World University Rankings. They debuted last week, and American higher education has reason to chant, “We’re Number One!” The question, though, is for how long?

Now university rankings should always be taken with a grain of salt for anything other than establishing broad trends. For example, I don’t know any University of Virginia graduate who thinks that UVA (#118) ranks behind the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (#42), let alone nearly every school in the Big Ten (which oddly enough has a dozen members). The reality is that universities have different strengths and weaknesses, and there’s no sure way to measure either. Even if there were, it’s not obvious whether great strength in, say, engineering should count more, the same, or less than great strength in the physical or social sciences. Throw in the differences across borders in terms of teaching formats and approaches, and global college rankings are a dicey enterprise.

U.S. universities take seven of the top ten spots, 11 of the top 15, 15 of the top20, and 20 of top 26 spots. (Georgia Tech and The University of Texas at Austin – UT asks that you capitalize “The” – are tied for 25th.) Overall, the United States accounts for 76 of the top two hundred universities in the rankings.

Myths on American schooling

Much of the coverage of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings has trumpeted how universities in the West have lost ground to their counterparts in Asia. The British universities in the top two hundred slipped an average of 6.7 places compared to their ranking last year. Meanwhile, 51 of the top 76 American universities lost ground in the ratings.

The improved ratings for Asian universities, and especially Chinese and Indian universities, are to be expected. The rise of China and India as economic powerhouses makes it almost inevitable that their institutions of higher learning will become powerhouses as well. Indeed, Beijing is actively seeking to create the Chinese version of the U.S. Ivies, the so-called C9 League. These nine super-institutions recently received $270 million each from the Chinese government. That kind of money can buy a lot of bricks and books.

But Chinese and Indian universities still have a long way to go before they can match the best in the West. The highest rated Chinese university is Peking University, which clocks in at #46.  Next is Tsinghua University at #52. (The University of Hong Kong stands at #35, but its history is quite different from mainland Chinese universities.) No other Chinese or Indian university is in the top two hundred. Elite status requires not just money, but time and a lot of effort.

More from CFR: Huawei, Cybersecurity, and U.S. Foreign Policy

The real threat to Western, and specifically U.S., universities comes not from Asian universities flush with cash but from eroding support at home for investing in top-flight universities. California’s budget woes have rocked the world’s greatest single higher education system; five University of California campuses rank in the Times Higher Education’s top fifty but their budgets are being slashed. The flagship universities in Georgia, Illinois, Texas, and Virginia (among others) face tough choices about how to maintain academic excellence as state support shrinks in relative (and sometimes absolute terms) and the pressure to hold down tuition increases. Whether states choose to continue investing in their colleges and universities, and whether students can find ways to finance their college educations, will go a long way to determining how competitive the United States remains in a global economy.

One final point. The focus on how many universities each country has in the top fifty or hundred misses what may be the most profound trend in U.S. higher education, namely, that U.S. universities are becoming far less “American” and far more global in their makeup. The “multinationalization” of the faculties of American universities has long been evident to students taking math and science courses. But increasingly it describes the student themselves. Nearly one-in-four Columbia University and Stanford University students are international students, as is one-in-five Northwestern students and one-in-seven UC-Berkeley and University of Michigan students. So the simple fact that a student goes to class in Palo Alto, Evanston, or Ann Arbor says increasingly less about which national economy will capture the benefits of his or her higher educational attainments.

The top 10:

1)      California Institute of Technology

2)      Stanford University

2)      University of Oxford

4)      Harvard University

5)      Massachusetts Institute of Technology

6)      Princeton University

7)      University of Cambridge

8)      Imperial College London

9)      University California, Berkeley

10)  University of Chicago

Post by:
Topics: Asia • China • Education • United States

soundoff (104 Responses)
  1. Reposted With Intent To Educate

    In contrast to this article, India’s education system is mired in corruption. Another indictment of the sorry state of Indian education was the view held by students that cheating in examinations is their traditional right. In India universities cheating is now well-established. The fees for manipulating entrance tests ranges between $80 to $20,000 for popular programmes such as computer science, medicine and engineering the report said.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Reply
    • SS

      What are you talking about? It's very harsh comment. No education system in this world is perfect. Indian system also has drawbacks but cheating is well-established in all universities??? Where do you get your facts from? Do you ever wonder why Indian kids are one of the best performer in all schools/universities in US.

      October 11, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
      • I Am Here To Help You

        United Nation aka UN. Google it, Stupid..

        October 11, 2012 at 3:04 pm |
      • Jack

        Students from India have the highest rate of plagiarism and cheating in US Universities.

        October 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
      • Rob

        Because all of the ones who were not smart enough to get in are still in India. Only the brightest of India come to work in professional jobs in America. Do not worry. India has its own share of ignorant and lazy citizens. And that is why they are still there.

        October 11, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
      • greg

        I tend to agree with Rob's comment. Not all but many of India's best and brightest go west for education BECAUSE the Western universities, which are household names (Harvard, Oxford, etc.), attract the best from around the world. This has become a virtuous reinforcing cycle for many of the best western universities, ensuring that they will remain highly regarded in the future. Harvard isn't going anywhere 😉

        October 11, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
      • Raj

        "Reposted with Intent to educate" is anti Indian maybe paki or an idiot. You can clearly see from all this comments on many of CCN's posts, most recently on Zakaria's "What China’s slowdown means" article. His points are based on distorted facts and are baseless. He is a moron and should not be taken seriously.

        October 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
      • OnTheRoad

        I just left a teaching post at an Indian graduate school where I caught 131 out of 156 students plagiarizing their final papers. The school would not hold them responsible - even after we caught them. All schools have some students who cheat. So far as I am concerned, Indian schools are entirely about cheating. The students were the worst I ever taught. Until Indian schools, India, and Indians face up to this, you will continue have 3rd rate education and 3rd rate graduates.

        October 12, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
      • Oscar Pitchfork

        Of course they cheat, monkey spoor! They cheat so they can one day come to the WEST, where all is lush and green, and all the sebaceous oozing that is common to the dermis of all Indians will soon cease...

        October 13, 2012 at 8:25 am |
      • Truth For Ever

        Indian Students and H1B workers, some of them are intelligent and some of them are not. You can't say that they are all dumb and they cheat. Those who graduated from top Indian and U.S universities are good. There are dumb H1B workers doing nice jobs in US – Thanks to greedy consulting companies and corrupt HR managers.

        October 14, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
      • momoisdabest

        Its called selection bias. Only the brightest and the best tend to get into the US. The American Desi sample is no way, no way an accurate or true representative of the population. Canada, The UK, Malaysia have Indian minorities that are more accurately represent the population. You get all types, doing all jobs. Not just doctors, S/w, s/w and more s/w engineers!

        November 9, 2012 at 5:50 am |
      • Scorpio

        Hi SS, I dont know where you get your facts from, I get my facts from Engineering Profeesors in the US. They have, just like Standard and Poor's, downgraded Indian students coming from India to "No Admit" for the past 2-3 years. Our students with a BE/BTech are considered equivalent to 12th graders in the US. I dont wish to blame anyone, but it is good to know your facts

        January 13, 2013 at 7:14 am |
      • dave

        They're mere performers.

        February 17, 2013 at 12:15 am |
    • Ravi

      Thats an unfair comment.. I live in the US now, went to graduate school here, immigrated after finishing my undergrad Engineering degree.. We worked hard to get our degree, competed hard and knew of no one who cheated. Professors made our life hellish and to get a decent grade was an uphill task.. several didnt make it.. Please dont stereotype a nation of 1.3 billion , you have good mostly with some bad..

      October 11, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Reply
    • Nick

      Why are there 2 numbers 2's?

      October 12, 2012 at 6:51 am | Reply
      • John

        @Nick: "Why are there 2 numbers 2's"

        If two tie for second place, they both get second place. The next is still fourth place.

        October 12, 2012 at 10:21 am |
      • buzz

        To much fiber in their diet.

        October 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • ensense

      Pakistan's biggest university is a madarassa.

      October 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Reply
      • Michigan Big Blue

        And your poor India is no where to be found on Top 200 Universities, NOT a Single ONE.... And all of you Indoos, talk of IITs, Taa Taa Tees.... Shove it. You are nobody in the large scheme of things, India will forever remain a poor, slum of the world. 70% don't have Toilets.. Go fix that first.

        January 28, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • Joe

      We do not need any education from an idiot like you who spews venom on some country just cause you hate it. I have been reading your posts and they dont make any sense and does not relate to the topic in the article. Please stop posting absurd information and keey your nonsense to youself.

      October 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply
    • Brody

      Interesting comment. I'm in dental school, and there are about 20 students from India. There seems to be blatant cheating problems from that group of students.

      October 13, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Reply
    • Jacob

      Indian educators and politicians were confident that India would have the highest PISA scores (math, science, and reading) in the world. When they took the 2009 test, they scored the worst in the world, with the exception of Kyrgyzstan. Even Tamil, which is known for having an outstanding education system scored worse than every country except Kyrgyzstan.

      October 14, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Reply
    • Jacob

      Even Fareed Zakaria was recently caught blatently plagarizing an article.

      October 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Reply
      • Anthony

        That is right !

        December 28, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  2. coachoster

    Would it be too much to ask that Mr. Lindsay spell the name of all 10 schools correctly? It's UC Berkeley.

    October 10, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Reply
    • Bobpitt

      There is a web site called google and this is what I found out..""The University of California, Berkeley (also referred to as UC Berkeley, Berkeley""

      October 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Reply
  3. deep blue

    I have heard many people claim that the higher education "bubble" will burst. I don't think that the higher education "bubble" is similar to the housing one. You can't get foreclosed on your education. The bank can't repossess your education and undercut market prices.

    That being said, the current increases of tuition costs are unsustainable. Schools need to switch their focus from new recreational facilities and fancier residential facilities to cutting costs. Students and parents need to encourage this transition of focus. Otherwise, as costs continue to rise, students will no longer be able to pay their debts, the Department of Education will run out of funds, and no banks will be willing to take the losing bet of loaning money for higher education. The transition will be less painful if we make it soon, but it has to be made from the students because demand dictates where the money goes.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Reply
    • The truth

      You don't see the bubble? We are all sending kids to college to study "X". What happens when too many people with "X" degree are around and little or no work?

      October 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Reply
      • The Mel

        The truth – "What happens when too many people with "X" degree are around and little or no work?" Answer: They become baristas at Starbuck's – or deliver pizzas.

        October 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  4. madnomadfilms

    It's hard to see the point of this article without looking at the bigger context. So 8 american universities are at the top of a chart that rates professors and papers that comes out of the university instead of looking at the jobs and the impact on science, politics and the economy these universities have made in the recent years. It's not that impressive actually, 50% of silicon valley engineers are foreign-educated, and the number is growing, because the US can't provide enough high skilled workers.

    Next to that, 2011 saw the worst drop-out ever recorded anywhere: 25% of students dropped out of High School in 2011, that's 1.2 Million students. So the best universities are not serving America. They're serving a smaller and wealthier amount of folks, and the percentage of Asians coming out of these schools is growing bigger every year (it's good for the Asians, not as promising for the rest of the country).

    At this rate America will have become a third world country in the next 2 decades.

    October 10, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Reply
    • The truth

      It already has. US kids rather study liberal arts than take engineering, science, medicine, etc. Why do you think you see so many asians/foreign students in medicine and engineering?

      But don't worry we're still more "creative than them"

      October 10, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
      • Bobpitt

        Yeap.... and American kids complain they can't find a job..!!! with liberal arts?

        October 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
      • thfan

        My daughter has a Liberal Arts Degree and she's employed at #42! Go Heels!

        October 11, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • old golfer

      What with over 16 trillion in national debt and what you stated, I agree with you completely. Good post. We are racing to 3rd world status.

      October 12, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Reply
    • Brody

      The problem is the college kids want to party, and would rather not work too hard. If you can do your work and party, so be it – but most can't. I wouldn't say we are racing to third-world status, but are being out-worked.

      October 13, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  5. Rita Policarpo

    Yes, my undergraduate degree is from the University of Incarnate Word in san Antonio, a small school. However when we took State Board Exams with all of the other Universities in Texa, I had the highest composit score. Besides a good education in Nursing I discovered many years later when visiting museums in Paris, Madrid and Rome that I could still identify many of the works of art from a wonderful history of art course that was required. A good education is available at many Universities.

    October 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
    • chris

      Higest score yet you can't spell composite?

      October 12, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Reply
      • You Look Foolish

        You criticize someone else's spelling and can't spell highest?

        October 13, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  6. j. von hettlingen

    A good education is very useful, yet at the end of the day it's the person that counts. Apart from intelligence, qualities like character and the skills are equally important.

    October 10, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Reply
    • jimdog33

      Bingo! University/College is preparatory folks. Once you get into the workforce, you'd better get ready to swing because it's a crowded place full of diplomas, certificates & MBAs.

      October 12, 2012 at 11:47 am | Reply
    • guttentag

      Regarding a broad education, Francis Bacon wrote, "Seek ye first the good things of the mind, and the rest will either be supplied or its loss will not be felt." Wise words, but unforntunately that approach does not always help in paying the rent.

      October 12, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
      • DaveH

        mmmm....Bacon......

        October 14, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
  7. 100 % ETHIO

    The top 10 American Universities, in which fields?

    In America, those who had previous negative experiences, as first-hand or lessons from their families, that did not make it in Higher Educations, are the biggest obstacles for bright and educated new immigrants.
    These uneducated or less educated Americans are very angry and jealous against new immigrants who entered-in-to America, well armed.

    Comparing the past East and Southern-European immigrants, who entered into America without merits and lack of basic English and Maths skills, the current new immigrants are screened before they entered in to America. Such as:- 1) Excellent health;
    2) Minimum grade 12 equivalence;
    3) No criminal record and
    4) Able to communicate in English language.

    Individual and/or primary applicants, must fulfilled the above requirements, before they are being permitted to enter into America, as new worker.

    October 10, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Reply
    • old golfer

      With you on everything except speaking English.

      October 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  8. spoo

    the educational problem in the US starts at the elementary level, the public school system has been corroded to the bone by a bureocracy that serves politicians, administrators and union leaders but degrades the work done by teachers, regardless of the political party in control. as long as this idiotic system of pushing teachers around is maintained, the decline in education nation wide will continue. the same happens at universities, administrators have turned colleges into enterteinment parks and pushed faculty around as they wish with the only objective to increase their budgets not to improve learning and development......were is obama and romney in this issue? they dont even understand the problem, they just propose to stirr the same soup in differents ways, they do not see that the soups has already spoiled

    October 11, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  9. Kristina

    In California students spend an extra two years on average getting obtaining a degree, our population has a approximately by millions of people and is expected to incrase by 7-8 million more in the next decade. There are no plans to expand our university system, and we are currently cutting classes for students. Technical classes cost more to run, yes we are turning into a third world country because we don't want to take responsibility for the future of our nation and while small businesses do pay their taxes, we don't expect hedge fund managers or corporations to contribute.

    October 11, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • ChicagoLoop

      I agree with you. At the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the Chinese students who are incoming first-semester students, in both undergrad and grad, have mathematical skills well beyond their American peers. Globally, 54% of people in STEM jobs (Science, Techonology, Engineering and Math) are Chinese and only 4% are Americans, even though we have the best engineering schools in the world (Cal Tech, MIT, Stanford, Harvard, UC Berkeley, and so on.) We have catching-up to do.

      October 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Reply
      • ChicagoLoop

        Sorry for the typo in Technology! Long day...

        October 11, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • StanCalif

      Sure, California citizens are getting the short end. Foreign students are a priority, they can pay much more! No foreign student has a problem getting classes! It's all about the money!

      October 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  10. Virginian

    I actually do know several UVA alumni who think UNC-Chapel Hill ranks much higher.

    October 11, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
    • thfan

      Go Heels!

      October 11, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Reply
    • Jo Ann

      yep, go heels!

      October 12, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Reply
  11. jarda cervenka

    Few years ago Brits and Chinese did similar evaluation, rating not only research but PhD, MS students, and other factors. The results: again of the first 10 there were 8 American. Of course, since the ORGANIZATION is far the best, most democratic and enhancing free thought, no big shot professor etc , &c. (Where is Sorbone, Uof Berlin, U.of Padova, ...) I am not even speaking about underdeveloped countries like India, dictatorships like China, and South America – where nobody speaks English, the international language of science.

    October 11, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
    • The Mel

      China and India both start teaching English in grade school.

      October 11, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Reply
      • isolate

        I wish America would. I've seen college freshmen unable to communicate in writing without a remedial course or two. The numbers are increasing every year.

        October 11, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
      • Linda

        Right, I think previous poster meant that in South America, students do not learn English. True or not?

        October 13, 2012 at 8:26 am |
  12. blessedgeek

    Where is Pakistan and Russia?

    October 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Reply
    • sparky

      In Asia.

      October 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  13. Ian

    CalTech better than Oxford? Good look with that one . . . Bill Clinton, among others, may disagree . . .

    October 11, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Reply
    • Mason

      The amount of innovation and groundbreaking research coming out of Caltech is incredible for a school of its size. Just because more people have heard of Oxford does not make it superior.

      October 11, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Reply
  14. isolate

    The Economist this week has an article on how America's ever-more-rigid immigration and work policies are driving away foreign superstars. Canada has been the biggest beneficiary, since the country hasn't inherited America's paranoia about terrorism, security and work permits. We're in the odd position of educating the world's best and brightest (the ones who survive the application process, that is), then kicking them out of the country to use their skills elsewhere. And with American students dropping farther behind every year, our native-born applicants soon won't be able to meet the admissions policies of CalTech and the other top schools.

    October 11, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  15. c s

    Of course US universities are declining, so is the whole country. The reason is really easy; it is always about money or more important the lack of money. The whole education system in the US is under attack and the universities are just the top of the education system. As more and more money is poured into the military, less and less money is available for everything else. Unfortunately about 50% of the people in this country believe that having the most expensive military in the world show the strength of the country. Maybe if more people would listen to the words of Republican President Eisenhower who was a Five Star General during WW II, then they would understand the real problems of our country:
    "“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. ... Is there no other way the world may live?” see http://kbp1970.livejournal.com/76703.html

    October 11, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Reply
    • greg

      So you are arguing that having a strong military is not, infact, a sign of strength? Well if a strong military does not = strength, then what is it a sign of? Do you think strong military = weakness? He with the strongest military loses? Is that your logic? Please educate me, here.

      October 11, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Reply
      • Epilachna

        He said 'most expensive', Greg. Most expensive does not equal strongest. It equals most wasteful.

        October 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • rotorhead1871

      that is so whiny,,,,grow up....run for office and change things..but quit whining....

      October 13, 2012 at 12:25 am | Reply
  16. greg

    Glad I have a degree from UTexas and UMichigan-yes both of these schools (and their football teams) rock. I have to say, though, that I question these rankings. Cal Tech #1??? It's a great school, but it looks like Cal Tech was grafted on to the top of this top 10 list, which becomes a list of the usual suspects after #1. And while I think that UTexas is a GREAT school, I'm not sure it's top 25 material overall–certainly some programs are very good–but I don't think 25 overall. Lastly, it sounds like UVirginia was underrated. UV is, I will conceed, a better school than UTexas in terms of academics.

    October 11, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Reply
    • random techer

      Caltech consistently makes the list of top 10 academic schools (this year it's #5 in the US news list and #1 on this list).
      Of course, I'm a bit biased, but I think that it's one of the usual suspects (not "bolted" to the top of a list). FWIW, people tend to not know much about Caltech because it's small (900 UG, 1200 Grad students), but we do bost 31 Nobel prize winners (between faculty and students), so it's not like it's a fluke. Not saying we should be number 1, but 10-ten is not unexpected.

      Perhaps you may be confusing Caltech with Calpoly? (it's a common mistake, Pasadena vs San Luis Obisbo)

      October 15, 2012 at 2:52 am | Reply
  17. iceload9

    We always hear, we're not funding enough. We never hear we fund plenty (look at the cost of college), the money is just misspent.

    October 12, 2012 at 7:52 am | Reply
    • pat

      So if the state funding of universities has gone down 50%, those universities should just be able to absorb that loss by cutting waste?

      October 12, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
      • Dude

        Big football program. More skyboxes. Sir, do you like that wine and cheese? Well you know our Agriculture school has a dairy farm and they are trying to expand. The new building would look great with your name on it . . .

        October 12, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  18. what1ever

    Utah: 134, BYU: unlisted. That'll keep me smiling all day.

    October 12, 2012 at 10:55 am | Reply
    • billmosby

      Agree! But mostly because I live by the U campus. I'm a U of Mich grad, from so long ago I was able to pay all my expenses with part of my part-time student job pay. And that included nonresident tuition.

      October 13, 2012 at 9:03 am | Reply
  19. Sara

    "I don’t know any University of Virginia graduate who thinks that UVA (#118) ranks behind the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (#42)"

    Well, it's a good thing you've self-selected an impartial group, right?

    October 12, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Reply
    • jesusonthelawn

      Seriously. I suspect the author is a UVA grad with his feelings hurt.

      I don't know any UNC graduate who thinks UVA is anywhere near Carolina in quality of education. See. It works both ways.

      October 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  20. Patriot

    This author works for the ROCKEFELLER FUNDED THINK TANK called the CFR... More PROPGANDA. James Lindsay is senior vice president and director of studies at the Council on Foreign Relations....

    October 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  21. bryce

    So, who exactly voted on these ratings? Could it be that the majority of voters were from the North East and ivy League schools?

    October 12, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  22. Geoff

    Penguins consider Youngstown State to be the best college. I, on the other hand, consider the entire Top 10 list to be overrated. Unless you include the likes of Alabama and Georgia, how can you have a legitimate Top 10? Seriously, think about it. Georgia and Alabama are known for their English speaking studies. Just listen to their athletes. Or any athlete in the SEC for that matter, except for Vandy.

    October 13, 2012 at 1:42 am | Reply
  23. Maggie

    Hey, there is a rumor that e-courses are going to be the thing for a college education. That would take care of building extra dorm space, extra classroom/lab/library space. E-courses would be self-paced and a student could get a degree in 3 years, maybe less. If this is the case, would there ever again be a necessity for ranking colleges? And frankly, Harvard is over-rated. They have just as many bad faculty members as any other school.

    October 13, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  24. MuckFohammad

    How did the University of Plagiarism fare?

    October 13, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Reply
  25. connie Logg

    A great disappointment in life was applying to CAL Tech in 1964 and being told that they do not accept women. I applied to UC Berkeley and was accepted in my junior year of high school. It was a great school. I later went to work for Stanford for 37 years and worked with many CAL tech people. It all worked out well, but CAL tech had the math, physics, and astrophysics program I wanted to be in.

    All is well, I am now retired. But I do not understand why they did not accept women. I was never considered, but got a letter saying women were not allowed.

    Life is not fair...but does work out in the end

    October 14, 2012 at 2:25 am | Reply
    • mathman

      Yeah, that was unfair, but none of the Ivies admitted women undergraduates at that time either (though several of them had "associated" women's colleges, like Radcliffe or Barnard). You should have applied to MIT, which is similar to CalTech, but has an entering class about 4 times bigger, and first admitted women undergraduates in 1871. Then you could have been one of 50 women in a class of 950 (when I started there in 1966).

      October 14, 2012 at 7:13 am | Reply
      • gabriel

        Wrong.

        Cornell has admitted woman since it's founding in 1865.

        October 14, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Barada

      Happy that it worked out for you. But that does not always happen.

      October 14, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  26. s surrell

    People can't figure it out, we want to create more manufacturing jobs in the US while that battle is lost, but we want to cut into teacher pay because of the downturn in the economy. Education is our only chance to play on the world stage any more. We will never be a manufacturing powerhouse again, but we can be an education powerhouse, if we don't destroy our public school systems.

    October 14, 2012 at 6:54 am | Reply
    • M Houston

      We've already destroyed our public school systems. We need to remake our primary education model along the lines
      of the Finnish system, which is the very best in the world.

      October 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  27. Barada

    California has three of the top ten universities in the world! Why, then, are our government officials so stupid?

    October 14, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Reply
    • Junk Mail

      Brains are primary California EXPORT. We IMPORT our politicians from Austria. 😉

      October 15, 2012 at 8:49 am | Reply
      • M Houston

        It is really scary to think that Californian universities are the "best" in the world. If that is true
        then it is not surprising that the whole world is in such sad shape.

        October 15, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  28. RIck Springfield

    I'm glad to see Yale not listed on the top 10. I knew that from a Yale student we hired who didn't work out. He was an engineering student who broke everything he touched. One of his designs even sent one of our workers to the hospital and he doesn't even have a degree yet. Imagine what will happen when he graduates and goes to work. I figure he's the person who designed that garage in Florida that collapsed the other day. So how did he get into Yale? Simple, his dad is a multi-millionaire who owns banks in Texas. He simply wrote them a big check and Jr. got his admission slip. But when universities admit students based on bank accounts of the parents, they wind up admitting idiots.

    October 14, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Reply
  29. Jebbb

    "The University of Texas at Austin – UT asks that you capitalize “The.” Shouldn't that say "The University of Texas at Austin-TUT asks that you capitalize "The?"

    October 15, 2012 at 6:18 am | Reply
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