There have been significant changes this year in the methodology of the global
rankings produced by QS and Times Higher Education. In addition, there have
been some important developments in national rankings, especially the latest
edition of America’s Best Colleges published by US News.
For its latest edition US News has introduced several new indicators including
four, with a four percent weighting, that measure faculty research
productivity. There are also new metrics for the National University rankings
relating to graduate earnings and first-generation students.
Five metrics have been removed: alumni donations, class size, students’ high
school rank, graduate debt, and faculty with terminal degrees.
The weighting for graduation rates of low-income students, graduation rates
controlled for social economic status, student faculty ratio, and full-time
faculty has been increased and that for academic spending per student has
There are few surprises at the very top. In the National Universities category,
Princeton is first, followed by MIT, Harvard, Stanford, and Yale. A bit further
down, venerable institutions such as the University of Chicago, Dartmouth
College, and Tulane University have fallen significantly while the University of
Texas at San Antonio, Florida Gulf Coast University, and California State
University East Bay have improved largely because of a good performance with
regard to social mobility.