Summaries of University Rankings. November 26, 2008

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1 Summaries of University Rankings November 26, 2008

2 Summaries of University Rankings The EESD Observatory Ranking Page 3 Beyond Grey Pinstripes Page 5 Knight Schools Page 7 Times Higher Education (THE) QS World University Rankings Page 9 Academic Ranking of World Universities Page 11 Maclean s University Ranking (or Guide to Canadian Universities) Page 13 US News and World Report America s Best Colleges (University Ranking) Page 15 Forbes America s Best Colleges (University Ranking) Page 17

3 The EESD Observatory Ranking Organisation: Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (EESD) Observatory Website: Frequency: Since 2006 (published biannually) Coverage: Engineering Schools in European universities Data collection: Self reporting questionnaires Purpose: To identify the extent that sustainability is embedded in European engineering education (a progress report). Criteria Weighting Indicator(s) description Notes ESD* Policy Unknown Commitment of the university on education, research and in-house activities for SD Education (Courses and Specialisation) Unknown Number of courses and specialisations on SD offered by the university at the undergraduate level Education (Postgraduate Programs on SD) Education (Embedding in the Curricula) Unknown Unknown Number of courses and specialisations on SD offered by the university at the postgraduate level Degree to which universities promote the embedding of SD in curricula In-house EMS* Unknown Degree to which universities promote the embedding of SD in curricula * ESD = Environmental and Sustainable Development; EMS = Environmental Management System Reporting structure (i.e. summary of ranking results): Universities classified and scored on each learning activity on a scale of 0-10 as: Inspiration (score >9); Reaching targets (6-9); Making progress (3-6); Getting started (<3). Comments: This ranking is produced jointly by the following academic institutions: Technical Universities of Catelonia, Delft, Chalmers, and University of Tokyo in cooperation with the Alliance for Global Sustainability (AGS). It is intended as a progress report since the Declaration of Barcelona (2004) and covers over 50 European universities.

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5 Beyond Grey Pinstripes Organisation: Aspen Institute (Centre for Business Education) Business and Society Program Website: Frequency: Since1999 (published biannually) Coverage: Full time enrollment MBA programs around the world Data collection: Self reporting questionnaire Purpose: To inform prospective students about environmental and social impact management programs, in addition to challenging business schools to incorporate these topics into their curricular. Criteria MBA Coursework* Faculty Research* Institutional Support at the School Student Opportunity raw score Student exposure raw score Weighting Indicator(s) description Notes See raw score Core and elective courses that E.g. syllabi, course descriptions or a URL link metrics below include social impact management and/or environmental topics See raw score metrics below Not included in ranking Details of any faculty members who have conducted research on social or environmental business topics Institutions are asked to report exemplary non-curricular activities and programs that specifically addressed social impact and environmental management 25% Number of courses that contain social, environmental and/or ethical content 25% Sum of the student exposure for each course that received student opportunity credit * Only Coursework and Research data are used in the ranking calculations E.g. speakers, seminars/conferences, orientation activities, internships and consulting programs, competitions, clubs and groups, career development services, university institutes/centers, joint degrees, specializations, and other relevant activities Meaning that longer courses/dedicated courses/courses with higher enrolment on the relevant issues count for more

6 Beyond Grey Pinstripes Criteria Weighting Indicator(s) description Notes Course content raw score Faculty research raw score 25% Count of courses that demonstrate student opportunity and specifically address the intersection of social and environmental issues in mainstream for profit business 25% Number of author credits attributable to the school faculty This metric reflects the focus of the Aspen CBE on how business plays a role in society Search 80 leading academic journals Reporting structure (i.e. summary of ranking results): The final ranking is a list of the top 100 schools by total points received. Top 10 lists are also presented for: Schools in United States; European Schools; Course Work (schools that best integrate social, environmental and ethical issues into the classroom experience); Research (schools that have published the most research on social, environmental, and ethical issues); and Small Schools (with fewer than 100 students enrolled). On the website, Individual school profiles available. Side by side comparisons of up to 3 schools (e.g. coursework, research, and extracurricular activities) also available on the website. A customized search tool is also under development. Comments: Some survey metrics are calculated directly from data collated. For subjective reviews PHD and DBA research fellows are used. Research fellows are selected in a competitive process from institutions from around the world. Scoring by research fellows are done without any school or faculty name associated with the data. Aspen CBE only ranks accredited business schools.

7 Knight Schools Organisation: Corporate Knights Magazine by Corporate Knights Inc. Website: Frequency: Since 2004 (initially published annually for 2 years, knight-school-guide.html thereafter biannually) Coverage: Canadian Business, Law, Engineering Architecture, Data collection: Questionnaires, telephone and interviews Urban Planning, Public Policy and Journalism schools Purpose: To identify for prospective students programs infusing social and environmental impact management into their curricula. Criteria Weighting Indicator(s) description Notes Institutional Support 30% Faculty participation and promotion of sustainability initiatives Support must be program specific and only events, scholarships and research that were within the department Student Led Initiatives 25% Any groups, clubs and initiatives led by students and supported mainly by students within the program Course Work 45% Evaluated core and elective courses and based on the program requirements. Sustainability focus had to be self evident in the course and title description Reporting structure (i.e. summary of ranking results): The final ranking is an ordinary list of the top 100 schools by total points received. Top 5/10 lists are also presented for: Undergraduate Business Programs; MBA Business Programs; Top 10 Law Programs; Engineering Programs; Urban Planning Programs; Architecture Programs; Undergraduate Journalism Programs; and Public Policy/Public Administration Graduate Programs. Comments: As of 2008 other areas covered: MBA, Engineering, Law, Architecture and planning, Public policy and Journalism. A pre-defined keywords and terms list was used to identify social and/or environmental issues for the purpose of the ranking.

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9 Times Higher Education (THE) QS World University Rankings Organisation: Times Higher Education Financial Times newspaper (in collaboration with QS) Website: Frequency: Since 2004 (published annually) Coverage: Universities worldwide Data collection: Online survey (self-reporting) Purpose: To present a multi-faceted view of the relative strengths of the world s leading universities. Criteria Weighting Indicator(s) description Notes Academic Peer Review 40% Peer review surveys weightings are applied geographically and by discipline Centrepiece of the ranking and based on online survey distributed to academics worldwide Employer Review 10% Responses to employer survey weightings are applied geographically Faculty Student Ratio 20% Full-time equivalent students and full-time equivalent faculty faculty student ratio Used to try to gauge the institutions commitment to teaching Citations per Faculty 20% Total citation counts in last 5 yrs and fulltime equivalent faculty research performance factored against the size of the research body Geared towards scientific and technical subjects the more citied published papers an institution has, the stronger it is considered to be use Scopus database from Elsevier International Faculty 5% Proportion of international faculty Used to access the institutions attractiveness internationally International Students 5% Proportion of international students Used to access the attractiveness of the institution internationally

10 Times Higher Education (THE) QS World University Rankings Reporting structure (i.e. summary of ranking results): To arrive at the ranking each indicator is multiplied by its weighting factor, sum the size resulting figures together, rounded to one decimal place and then scaled to the top performing institution resulting in a final score of 100. Lists are also presented for: Top 100 Universities; Subject Rankings (Arts & Humanities, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Technology); Regional Rankings (European, Ireland, UK); and Rankings by Indicator (see above) Comments: There is a criticism of this ranking because there is a suggestion that it is biased to certain countries see

11 Academic Ranking of World Universities Organisation: Shanghai Jiao Tong University Website: Frequency: Since 2003 (published annually) Coverage: Universities across the world Data collection: Unknown Purpose: Original purpose of doing the ranking was to find out the gap between Chinese universities and world-class universities, particularly in terms of academic or research performance. Criteria Weighting Indicator(s) description Notes Quality of Education 10% Alumni of an institution winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals Quality of Faculty 40% Staff of an institution winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals (50% of quality of faculty score); Highly cited researchers in 21 broad subject categories (50%) Research Output 40% Articles published in Nature and Science (50% of quality of faculty score); Articles indexed in Science Citation Indexexpanded, and Social Science Citation Index (50%) Per Capita Performance 10% Per capita academic performance of an institution Reporting structure (i.e. summary of ranking results): Website presents rankings as follows: Top 500 World; Top 100 North & Latin American; Top 100 European; and Top 100 Asia Pacific. Comments: A 2007 paper published in the journal Scientometrics found that the results from the Shanghai rankings could not be reproduced from raw data using the method described by Liu and Cheng. For a summary on the methodological and technical problems see For more details on the ranking itself see

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13 Maclean s University Ranking (or Guide to Canadian Universities) Organisation: Maclean s magazine (weekly publication) Website: Frequency: Since1991 (published annually in March) Coverage: Universities in Canada Data collection: Self-reporting questionnaires Purpose: Maclean s Guide to Canadian Universities (special issue) is to help people make their university decisions, primarily for students in their last year of high school and entering their first year in Canadian universities. Criteria Weighting Indicator(s) description Notes Student/Classes 20% Success of student body on winning national academic awards over the previous 5 years (10%) and full-time equivalent students per full time faculty members (10%) Faculty 18% Success of faculty on winning major national awards (6%), social sciences and humanities grants (6%) and medical/science grants (6%) Resources 12% Amount of money available for current expenses per weighted full-time equivalent student (6% weight) and total Students weighted according to level and program of study research dollars relative to full-time faculty (6%) Student Support 13% Percentage of the budget spent on student services (6.5%) as well as scholarships and bursaries (6.5%) Library 15% Number of volumes and volume equivalents per number of full-time equivalent students (5%), percentage of operating budget allocated to library services (5%) and percentage of library budget spent on updating the collection (5%). Reputation 22% Reputational survey rating universities in three categories: Highest Quality; Most Innovative; and Leaders of Tomorrow; Best Overall represents the sum of the scores

14 Maclean s University Ranking (or Guide to Canadian Universities) Reporting structure (i.e. summary of ranking results): In total, over 50 Canadian universities ranked (numerically) in three separate categories: Primarily Undergraduate (largely focused on undergraduate education, with relatively few graduate programs); Comprehensive (significant amount of research activity and a wide range of graduate and undergraduate programs, including professional degrees); and Medical Doctoral (broad range of PhD programs and research, as well as medical schools). Comments: Maclean s Guide to Canadian Universities (the university ranking issue) is a very comprehensive publication. Ranking results are presented in detail with accompanying articles, as well as a 2-page overview of each university. For the 2006 issue, more than 20 of the Canadian universities pulled out of participation in the report, citing complaints about the methodology of the rankings. These universities weren't confident in the magazine's ability to conduct a survey that would be rigorous and provide accurate and useful information to students and their parents. In response, Maclean's now includes the results of two universitycommissioned student surveys: the Canadian Undergraduate Survey Consortium and the National Survey of Student Engagement. Maclean s also revised its methodology and the rankings are now based entirely on publicly available data. For more details see

15 US News and World Report America s Best Colleges (University Ranking) Organisation: United States (US) News and World Report (weekly publication) Website: Frequency: Since 1983 (published annually) Coverage: Universities in the United States Data collection: Self-reporting questionnaires Purpose: To supply students and their families with as much information as possible about the comparative merits of the educational programs at America's colleges and universities. Criteria* Weighting Indicator(s) description Notes Reputation 100% Based solely on the judgments of deans and senior faculty who rated each program they are familiar with on a scale from 1 (marginal) to 5 (distinguished) * For Undergraduate Engineering Programs Criteria ** Weighting Indicator(s) description Notes Peer assessment 25% Assessment by administrators at peer institution Retention of students 20-25% 6-year graduation rate (80% of retention score); and freshman retention rate (20%) Weighting depends on type of school Faculty resources 20% % of classes <20 students (30% of resources score) and % >50 students (10%); mean faculty salary (35%); % of professors with highest degree in their fields (15%); studentfaculty Faculty pay includes benefits and is adjusted for regional cost of living ratio (5%); and % of faculty who are full time (5%) Student selectivity 15% Critical Reading and Math portions of the SAT or Composite ACT score (50% of the selectivity score); % of enrolled freshmen graduating in the top of their high school classes (40%); and acceptance rate (10%) ** National Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Master's Universities and Baccalaureate Universities

16 US News and World Report America s Best Colleges (University Ranking) Criteria ** Weighting Indicator(s) description Notes Financial resources 10% Average spending per student on instruction, research, student services, and related educational expenditures Alumni giving 5% Average % of living alumni with bachelor's degrees Indirect measure of student satisfaction Graduation rate performance 5% The difference between the % of students expected to graduate and the proportion who actually do For national universities and liberal arts colleges only ** National Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Master's Universities and Baccalaureate Universities Reporting structure (i.e. summary of ranking results): In total, the survey ranking covers baccalaureate and master s universities in four regions (North, South, West, and Midwest) and type (National Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Business Programs, and Engineering Programs). Comments: These rankings are based upon data which US News collects from each educational institution, either from an annual survey sent to each school, or from the school's website. They are also based upon opinion surveys of university faculties and administrators who do not belong to the schools. Asks for nominations of the best engineering programs in specialty areas; those receiving the most mentions in the ranking. Schools offering any courses in that specialty are eligible to be ranked in that specialty. During the 1990s, three educational institutions were involved in a movement to boycott the ranking survey. On 19 June 2007, during the annual meeting of the Annapolis Group, members discussed the letter to college presidents asking them not to participate in the "reputation survey" section of the survey (this section comprises 25% of the ranking). For more details see

17 Forbes America s Best Colleges (University Ranking) Organisation: Forbes magazine (weekly publication) Website: Frequency: Since 2008 (published annually) Coverage: Universities in the United States Data collection: Mostly publicly available data Purpose: To help American families choosing a four-year undergraduate college. Criteria/Indicator Weighting Indicator(s) description Notes Alumni listing 25% Listing of Alumni in the Who's Who in America published by the New Jersey firm Marquis Who's Who Student Evaluations of Professors 25% Student Evaluations of Professors From Available in USA, Canada, UK, New Zealand, and Australia Graduation Rates 16 2/3 % Four- Year Graduation Rates Nationally competitive awards 16 2/3 % Enrolment-adjusted numbers of students and faculty receiving nationally competitive awards Student debt 16 2/3 % Average four year accumulated student debt of those borrowing money Data obtained from the US Department of Education database (IPEDS) Reporting structure (i.e. summary of ranking results): Website presents rankings as follows: Complete List; Top 50 Overall; Top 25 Public; Top 25 Private; 30 Surprises; State; Cost; and Freshman Class Size. Comments: These rankings are produced in conjunction with Dr. Richard Vedder, an economist at Ohio University, and the Center for College Affordability and Productivity. Undergraduate institutions ranked based on the quality of the education they provide, and how much their students achieve. Although they market themselves as a new alternative the US News & World Report university ranking, their methodology has received much criticism that is fundamentally flawed.

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