The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2013-2014, powered by Thomson Reuters, are the only global university performance tables to judge world-class universities across all of their core missions - teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.Diversification and Specialization
Gee, too bad they are improving across the board:
In contrast to other parts of the world, diversification and specialisation do not seem to be top priorities for Asian universities: the internal cohesion of Japanese, Korean and Chinese institutions in the top 200 list vastly increased between 2012-13 and 2013-14. However, this policy of improvement across the board does seem to fall short when compared with global competition based on diversification and specialisation.New World Pecking Order
A pea-sized history of ranking is provided though I'm not buying the glib evolutionary assumptions. (I'm seeing economic motives here. )
To be sure, it took many millennia before our innate rankings impulse could be applied to universities. It wasn’t until 1874 that hereditarian Francis Galton published English Men of Science: Their Nature and Nurture, which tallied the universities attended by more than 100 scientists – notable among them Oxbridge and a variety of “Scotch, Irish or London universities”.
Galton didn’t attempt an actual ordinal listing by quality, however. That first happened in 1910, when American James McKeen Cattell used a complex methodology (sound familiar?) to create a table showing how 20 US universities stacked up against one another based on the number of accomplished scientists they employed.Highly Accomplished Outcasts
Discusses schools that don't fit into the ranking scheme:
In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, institutions are excluded for three reasons: low research output; a single or very narrow disciplinary focus; or their status as graduate-only schools.[...]
However, despite these disadvantages, the University of California, San Francisco does very well in the survey and was ranked among the top 50 in the world in 2012. Additionally, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London Business School, Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science and global business school Insead more than hold their own in reputation terms against their larger peers.Pedagogy in Peking
The President of Peking University writes about their broad approach to developing leadership and the challenges they see ahead.
Insisting on excellence in studies with such breadth and depth poses a serious practical question: how can we avoid student burnout and leave them with enough time and energy to explore freely, think deeply and even daydream? Like our colleagues all over the world, we are constantly attempting to address this question. We do not pretend to have solved it, but we are exploring several options.
First, the curriculum needs to be updated and reorganised in a more efficient way. Second, the sciences, humanities and social sciences should be taught in an integrated manner that unites all parts into meaningful wholes. Third, technologies such as the internet, interactive learning software and online courses need to be utilised to enhance teaching-learning proficiency.