Saturday, March 02, 2013

Reputations and Rankings

If I go by reputation and rankings all of the WHITE universities in the world appear much better on paper than my institution. But, we get between three and six presentations by PhD students and faculty from Europe and the  US here a semester and most of them are pretty weak. Even if they are sending us their absolute worst representatives because we are in Black Africa and not worth the effort, it indicates that their overall quality is far inferior to their reputation. However, in some cases the presenters are portrayed as the best that a certain institution in Europe or the US has to offer. In which case why are we rated so far below these institutions internationally? Our best graduate students are doing much better work and frankly I would be embarrassed to send somebody to Europe from here to give the type of mediocre presentations that they routinely send us. If anybody has any thoughts as to why this is the case I would greatly appreciate their comments.


Walt Richmond said...

I don't know much about it, but I do know that US News rankings are based on factors that really have to do with the size of the college's endowment. I remember reading something about how the rankings are BS a while back, if I have time today I'll try to find it for you.

It certainly can't have anything to do with teaching quality: Occidental is in the top 40 and I teach there!

Walt Richmond said...

I never found the article I mentioned, but I did remember one detail. The rankings are partially based on faculty to student ratio, so colleges with big endowments win there. But they cheat too. In their faculty-student ratios, they include all faculty: those on sabbatical AND emeriti (who are technically still faculty)!