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Thursday, April 6, 2017

PaGA 2017: Day 11a WHAT IS THE BEST UNIVERSITY?

Today, I caught the train to Nagano, and transferred to Karuizawa, where I'm staying at the Karuizawa Marriott.  Things got so bizarre that there will be a Day 11b.  Tomorrow I hope to visit Pearl's Gold Koi at the Matsumoto Castle.  Today, I'm being pedantic and reporting on universities.

Interestingly enough, Japan has not, until now, had its universities rated.  The Times Higher Education magazine just released their top institutions, and no surprise, but the national universities dominated.  The highest rated private university was Waseda at #10.  The top ten:
  • University of Tokyo
  • Tohoku University
  • Kyoto University
  • Nagoya University
  • Tokyo Institute of Technology
  • Osaka University
  • Kyushu University
  • Hokkaido University
  • University of Tsukuba
  • Waseda University
I have lectured at seven of them.  A small surprise is Tohoku, having faced six years ago the Great Tohoku Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Calamity.  Usually, Kyoto is considered next to Tokyo as the two best.

The difference in this report is that the ratings were based mostly on teaching:  educational resources, educational satisfaction, outcomes and international environment.  How Tokyo remained at the top is despite a 54 rating, dismal, for its foreign links.  #1 in international environment was Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, with students from 50 countries.  There are 239,287 students from abroad in the country.  Akita International University scored the highest for student satisfaction.

It should be noted that global rankings place greater focus on research performance.  The most cited survey is the Academic Ranking of World Universities, also known as Shanghai Ranking.  Shanghai Jiao Tong University has been annually doing this since 2003.  The results in 2016:
  • #1    Harvard
  • #2    Stanford
  • #3    California at Berkeley
  • #4    Cambridge
  • #5    MIT
  • #6    Princeton
  • #7    Oxford
  • #8    CalTech
  • #9    Columbia
  • #10  Chicago
  •  
  • #20  Tokyo
  •  
  • #32  Kyoto
  •  
  • #58 Tsinghua

  • #71  Peking
  • #72  Nagoya 
  • #96  Osaka

I should mention that the 2017 Times University Rankings list the following:
  • #1    Oxford
  • #2    CalTech
  • #3    Stanford
  • #4    Cambridge
  • #5    MIT
  • #6    Harvard
  • #7    Princeton
  • #8    Imperial College London
  • #9    Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich
  • #10  California Berkeley
The Times is headquartered in London, so there is a heavy European influence.  What about a USA ranking?  U.S. News and World Report has the following rating:
  • #1    Harvard
  • #2    MIT
  • #3    Stanford
  • #4    California at Berkeley
  • #5    CalTech
  • #6    Oxford
  • #7    Cambridge
  • #8    Princeton
  • #9    Columbia
  • #10  UCLA
  •  
  • #44  Tokyo
  •  
  • #53  Peking
  •  
  • #57  Tsinghua
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