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Saturday, November 05, 2005

Top 200 Universities according to The Times

The Times Higher Education Supplement ranks the top 200 Universities worldwide again for the 2005 year. The top 10 were:

 1. Harvard University (USA)
 2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA)
 3. Cambridge University (UK)
 4. Oxford University (UK)
 5. Stanford University (USA)
 6. University of California, Berkeley (USA)
 7. Yale University (USA)
 8. California Institute of Technology (USA)
 9. Princeton University (USA)
10. Ecole Polytechnique (France)

New Zealand universities

Auckland University managed a very respectable 52nd (up from 67th in 2004), coming in above the likes of Pennsylvania State University, USA (64), Copenhagen University, Denmark (66) and King's College London, UK (73).

Otago University came in at 186th (down from 114th).

Massey University was the only other New Zealand University in the top 200, coming in at 188th (down from 108th).

The volatility of these scores seems a bit suspicious. Usually you can't drastically change how good a university is in one year, which suggests to me that these scores are either really noisy (dependent on small sample sizes for peer review which is 40% of the score), or really sensitive to year-on-year data.

Either way, according to the outside world it appears Auckland University is held in the highest esteem of the New Zealand Universities. For a while now there have been arguments that New Zealand has too many Universities for its small population size, and would be better served by reducing the number of Universities from 8 down to about 4-5. That sounds like a very nasty business to me, but I guess having only 3 universities in the top 200 is the kind of argument used to support that conclusion. Either way, ensuring high quality research and tertiary teaching must be high on the agenda in any country that wants to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Incidently this is quite different from non-British-based rankings of Universities. It appears that the British think quite highly of us NZers -- maybe its because of the All blacks :-)


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