16 August 2017

The latest edition of the Academic Ranking of World Universities was published by the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy. These rankings have used the same indicators since they began in 2003. There are six metrics: alumni winning Nobel prizes and Fields medals (10% weighting), researchers winning these awards (20%), publications in the Science Citation Index and the Social Science Citation Index over the past year (20%), publications in Nature and Science over five years (20%), the number of faculty on the Clarivate Analytics highly cited researchers list (20%), and productivity per capita measured by the sum of the scores for these indicators divided by the total of academic staff (10%).

09 August 2017

The British Council has released a report, The shape of global higher education: National Policies Framework for International Engagement, by Janet Ilieva and Michael Peak. Four countries, Australia, China, Germany, Malaysia and the United Kingdom, get very high scores for openness and for quality assurance and recognition while Ethiopia is the only country to receive a very low score for openness. However, six countries get a very low grade for quality assurance: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ethiopia, Mexico and Nigeria.

05 August 2017

The US business magazine Forbes has published the latest edition of America’s Top Colleges. These rankings, now in their tenth year, take a strict return on investment approach based on measures of output that indicate direct economic benefits for students. It says nothing about research, reputation or teaching quality.

02 August 2017

The US education technology company, Hobsons, has released information about its survey of international students. Nearly a fifth of respondents said that rankings were the most important factor they considered when choosing a country in which study and 23.5% said it was most important for choosing a university.

Rankings are clearly not the dominant factor but they are significant. The survey has been under way for three years and there is now a total of 34,172 respondents. It was weighted to match the national origins of inbound international students.

29 July 2017

The methodology of the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities has gone through several changes since the ranking began in 2004. There is a 50% weighting for Visibility, the number of external networks originating back links to the institution’s webpages (data from Ahrefs and Majestic), 35% for Excellence measured by the number of papers among the top 10% most cited in 26 disciplines over a five year period (data from Scimago), 10% for Transparency or Openness, measured by the number of citations from top authors (data from Google Scholar Citations), and 5% for Presence, measured by the number of pages of the main webdomain of the institution (data derived from Google).

25 July 2017

China is beginning to establish a significant international presence in the educational world. An article in the Canadian Globe and Mail by Nathan Vanderklippe reports that primary schools in the United Kingdom are planning to import mathematics textbooks from China. This follows as series of remarkably high scores by Chinese students in the literacy, science and mathematics tests conducted by PISA and TIMSS.

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