For over 20+ years, I’ve analyzed the many lists and surveys* about the Top Universities in the United States (and quite possibly the “World”).
The U.S. rankings have become almost the default list of schools for “the world”, but we should never forget that we live in a very connected society these days where not just one country dominates the rankings (interestingly though, you’ll notice some interesting names in the following information. Have you heard of “Visvesvaraya Technological University”?)
However, what do we seriously mean by the “Top Universities?”
Many people don’t realize that it’s not just what our parents or what our friends think are the top institutions of higher learning (unless they are heads of venture capital firms or managers of human resource teams). In actuality, what REALLY matters is what do recruiters or hiring decision makers think? In other realms like venture capital, what really matters is what do the people who are funding startups believe? And if you’re pursuing additional university education, what do the graduate school admissions folks believe are the top universities in the world. It doesn’t exactly matter what you learned, but it truly matters what others believe you may have acquired at your “high quality place of learning.”
At my last educational organization, I published a very lengthy piece about how rankings are conducted for Universities. Unfortunately, the analysis has been pulled down because they deactivated the entire blog for some reason. Nevertheless, I had planned on writing an even more comprehensive piece here and due to a recent inquiry about “Top U.S. Universities” by a nice mother who has spent a majority of her life analyzing UK higher education, I decided I would write this for her and the many other mothers here in Hong Kong to help clarify how to think about the Top Universities in the U.S. (and like I said, possibly the world).
For our rankings, we have decided to use:
- 3 parts dedicated to the folks who evaluate resumes most often
- 1 part admissions selectivity
- 1 part internet exposure
- and 5 different larger media or studies that influence many of the aforementioned.
To give a hint to part of our list, here are the 6th through 10th Top Universities in the World compiled from the 10 part analysis of the Top Institutions of Higher Education: