Native Village
Youth and Education news
October 2010 Volume 2

London firm's survey says UM rated 15th in world for top universities
Condensed by Native Village

The University of Michigan has been named the 15th-best university in the world, according to QS World University Rankings. UM is also the top public college on the list.

American Indians at the University of Michigan:

UM jumped from 19th place in 2009 because of strong performance in six indicators used in the rankings

1. Surveys of more than 15,000 academics and 5,000 employers worldwide;
2. Audited data including citation counts in academic publishing;
3. University research quality;
4. Graduate employability;
5. Teaching commitment;
6. International commitment.

"They have made good progress in the particular aspects we looked at," said Ben Sowter, QS research chief.

The University of Cambridge (England) was named first, Harvard University second, and Yale University third. 

UM fared far better on the global QS ranking than it did in the U.S. News and World Report list, which only ranks U.S. universities and colleges. UM placed 29th, with three public universities ahead of it. (University of California-Berkeley; University of California-Los Angeles, and University of Virginia.)

U.S. News and World Report placed Harvard in first place, followed by Princeton University, and Yale in third.

Mr. Sowter said the magazine measures schools differently than QS. They operate on an international level, so the requirements are different.

"We can't use entry requirements as a measure because they are different in every country " Mr. Sowter said.  "We can't compare a GPA in the United States to the system we have here in the U.K. and the variety of other systems around the world."

Mr. Sowter added that QS also considers the views of employers and academics. This reflects the broader interests of students and parents.

UM leaders were was delighted to be ranked so high on the global list but warned students against giving lists too much credit.

"We recognize that rankings are useful to a point, and we also believe the quality of the teaching and the quality of the faculty are really important factors," UM spokesman, Rick Fitzgerald said. "But students should pick a school that is important to them and not just based on the rankings."

He said other rankings seem to favor private universities.

"One of the things U.S. News uses is expenditures per student as a measure," he said. "By using expenditures as a proxy for quality, [it] actually penalizes universities like the University of Michigan that have found more efficient ways to operate without impacting the education."

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