US universities aren’t necessarily the best. But that doesn’t seem to matter


Appearances depend. On the subject of university scores, they’re nearly the entirety that subjects.
The instances better education international scores, an annual compilation of the globe’s first-rate universities that’s intently watched by means of students in addition to faculties and country wide governments, is out with refreshed numbers for 2016, with lists for popularity and excellent of teaching.
The discrepancies in how extraordinary schools fare on the two separate lists are telling. In well known, positive mounted US faculties with recognizable names, like MIT and Yale, are ranked better at the reputation listing than they’re at the excellent list.
Via recognition—i.e., status, belief, and worldwide logo strength—Harvard takes this year’s top spot, because it has for several directly years. Yet through exceptional of coaching and research, Harvard is the best 6th. Judging by means of its actual educational quality, the number 1 faculty is the California Institute of era.

Recognition rankings over the years. (Courtesy of times higher education)
Columbia, whilst only #15 in the global in phrases of nice, has seen its logo strength jump from #23 in 2011 to #9 in 2016—likely because of being featured extra frequently in global news and media. (communicate of president Barack Obama joining the faculty after his time period ends probable helped.)
But on the opposite aspect of factors, many non-US faculties, which includes university college London and ETH Zurich, are scoring distinctly at the satisfactory list and doing a whole lot worse on the popularity list.
Ecu universities mainly appear to be slipping in status. Four of Germany’s six institutions have dropped down that listing this yr, and seven of the 10 united kingdom universities represented additionally fell to lower spots, despite the fact that they haven’t markedly declined in first-rate.


Times better schooling as a minimum makes a factor of isolating a faculty’s excellent from its (occasionally deceptive) recognition; many different lists, just like the famous US information and global document scores, lump the two metrics right into an unmarried assessment. It all goes to expose how finicky and unreliable university scores lists may be.