US News & World Report released its “Best Global Universities Ranking” on Tuesday, naming Harvard University the best school in the world — somewhat of a surprise, considering that Harvard ranked second on the publication’s annual list of top American universities.
US News is known for its national universities and liberal arts college rankings, which once again this year named Princeton University and Williams College as the top schools in America.
A few years ago, US News changed its methodology to emphasise “outcome-related measures” — such as graduation and retention rates — which now account for 30% of a school’s ranking and seems to continue placing Princeton and Williams up top.
As The Washington Post pointed out in 2014, it’s a little odd for US News to have Princeton at the top of its national universities list, but only ranked 13 for global universities, while former number two Harvard tops the list.
The discrepancy happens because US News considers different factors for each ranking. For its global ranking, US News emphasised research prowess and global reputation, while omitting factors such as undergraduate admissions data and graduation rates.
“This is about faculty productivity and prestige … It is meaningful for certain things and not necessarily meaningful for other things. We get that. This is about big muscular research universities doing what research universities claim is their mission,” US News Editor Brian Kelly told The Washington Post last year.
Here are the top 2o universities in the world, according to US News & World Report:
1. Harvard University
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
3. University of California, Berkeley
4. Stanford University
5. University of Oxford (United Kingdom)
6. University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
7. California Institute of Technology
8. University of California, Los Angeles
9. Columbia University
10. University of Chicago
11. University of Washington
12. Johns Hopkins University
13. Princeton University
14. (tie) University of Pennsylvania
14. (tie) Yale University
16. University of Toronto
17. University of Michigan
18. Imperial College London (United Kingdom)
19. University of California, San Diego
20. Duke University
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