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SOCIETY / EDUCATION

List: Top Ten Universities in the World

Date: August 2006

Source: Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Base: All universities recognised by SJTU in the World.

Notes: The SJT University publishes its university rankings every year and provides both a top 500 for the world as well as individual breakdowns by broad subject specialisation (e.g. social sciences, science etc.) and global region (e.g. Europe, Asia etc.) The methodology and resources used are also available at the above link. It is one of the most widely cited rankings in education research and the results have been used by such sources as The Economist magazine. However, the Shanghai rankings have also been criticized for placing too much emphasis on Nobel prizewinners, as opposed to the broader impact of a university's scientific output, with the concomitant effect of biasing the results towards the sciences for which a Nobel prize is awarded. There are three Nobel prizes for the sciences (chemistry, physics and medicine), one for the social sciences (economics), one for the arts (literature) and the Peace Prize. Universities with staff or alumni holding Fields medals for mathematics are also rewarded, but similar awards for achievement in the arts are not taken into account. Because of its methodology the list ranks almost exclusively research universities and not liberal-arts colleges. The ranking has been criticized by the Times of London, which compiles its own ranking, asking why the Shanghai rankings count only Nobel prizes, why the universities where prizewinners studied, some at the turn of the century before last, were credited and why universities where winners carried out their research, often at least 20 years previously, were credited rather than the institution that now benefits from their presence. A paper published in the Romanian journal Ad Astra found that the results could not be reproduced using the ranking's stated methodology. The Shanghai group also refused to provide raw data in response to a request.

World Rank

Institution

Country

National Rank

Total Score

1

Harvard Univ

USA

1

100

2

Univ Cambridge

UK

1

72.6

3

Stanford Univ

USA

2

72.5

4

Univ California - Berkeley

USA

3

72.1

5

Massachusetts Inst Tech (MIT)

USA

4

69.7

6

California Inst Tech

USA

5

66

7

Columbia Univ

USA

6

61.8

8

Princeton Univ

USA

7

58.6

8

Univ Chicago

USA

7

58.6

10

Univ Oxford

UK

2

57.6


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