Latest Report Shows Increasing Importance of University Rankings

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The new edition of the &ldquo;Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings 2008&rdquo; indicates an increasing acceptance of the importance of these rankings by the international higher education community and those that employ graduates from the top universities in the world.<br /><br />The &ldquo;THE-QS World University Rankings 2008&rdquo; have received unprecedented response levels from both the international academic community and employers: 6,354 academics (compared with 5,101 in 2007) and 2,339 employers (compared with 1,482 in 2007) responded to the surveys, eager to reflect the position and influence of the world&rsquo;s leading universities.<br /><br />Now in its fifth year, the research is conducted and compiled by QS Quacquarelli Symonds and features in print in Times Higher Education and online on the QS Web site.<br /><br />This latest edition of the &ldquo;THE-QS World University Rankings&rdquo; also reflects the increasing profile of technology-based universities, with many of the world&rsquo;s top universities in this area such as Caltech, MIT, ETH Zurich and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology improving their position. As demand by international employers for more technology-literate graduates has grown, the importance of these universities has risen in the Rankings.<br /><br />Other highlights include: <br /><br /><ul><li><strong>Top 10: </strong>The U.K. and USA continue to dominate: Harvard University remains as the top university, with Yale moving ahead of Cambridge for the second spot. Oxford drops to fourth, while Princeton drops out of the top 10, replaced by the only new entrant in the top 10, Columbia University.</li><li><strong>Top 50:</strong> Thirteen countries feature in the top 50 compared to 12 in. New entrants include Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, University of Copenhagen, Trinity College Dublin, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and Seoul National University.</li><li><strong>Top 100:</strong> The top 100 sees the number of Asian universities remain at 13 for the second year in a row, but the number of North American universities has dropped to 42 (43 in 2007). European universities increase to 36 (35 in 2007). New entrants in the top 100 include: Washington University in St. Louis, University of Geneva, University of Aarhus, University of Minnesota, Lund University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, KAIST – Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, University of Virginia, University of California, Santa Barbara.</li><li><strong>Top 200:</strong> Universities from 33 different countries (28 countries in 2007) are represented in the top 200. New entrants in the top 200 include: Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Stony Brook University (USA), Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD), VU University Amsterdam, University of Lausanne (Switzerland), Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), Universität Frankfurt am Main, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB), Lomonosov Moscow State University, Brandeis University (USA), Pohang University of Science and Technology (Korea), Technische Universität Berlin, University of Bern, Dalhousie University (Canada), University of Buenos Aires, University of Athens.</li></ul><br />Ann Mroz, editor of &ldquo;THE,&rdquo; said: &ldquo;These rankings use an unprecedented amount of data to deliver the most accurate measure available of the world&rsquo;s best universities and of the strength of different nations&rsquo; university systems. They are important for governments wanting to gauge the progress of their education systems and are used in planning by universities across the world.&rdquo;<br /><br />Nunzio Quacquarelli, managing director of QS and co-editor of the &ldquo;Top Universities Guide&rdquo; says: &ldquo;In just five years, the &lsquo;THE-QS World University Rankings&rsquo; have become the primary benchmark for comparing universities across borders &mdash; recognized for their accuracy and insight. The rankings allow prospective students, parents, academics, employers and journalists to gain an insight into international university education, helping them to make the right choices, whether it is in selecting a university for study or for partnership.&rdquo;<br /><br />Quacquarelli added: &ldquo;Rankings are contentious and QS has always argued that they should be used with caution, understanding that they cannot reflect all aspects of university excellence. The criteria upon which we rank universities reflect our mission to identify the world&rsquo;s best universities in terms of research, employability, international profile and teaching quality. But we recognize that everyone is different, and we encourage people to look at the data for over 1,000 universities covered in our research and to create their own personalized ranking.&rdquo;<br /><br />The top 10 universities in 2008 are as follows:<br /><br /><ol><li>HARVARD University</li><li>YALE University</li><li>University of CAMBRIDGE</li><li>University of OXFORD</li><li>CALIFORNIA Institute of Technology (Caltech)</li><li>IMPERIAL College London</li><li>UCL (University College London)</li><li>University of CHICAGO</li><li>MASSACHUSETTS Institute of Technology (MIT)</li><li>COLUMBIA University</li></ol>

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