This month with the President – University rankings
It is the ranking season; we’ve seen five sets of rankings, I think. People tend to homogenize these and assume every one is in a sense an assessment of universities on the same basis, and of course they’re not. So, for example, the Globe and Mail one is a very interesting index of the way in which students perceive the university and the way in which they assess and estimate their experience here. Then others, like Shanghai Jiao Tong, weigh very heavily certain indices of research excellence. Each of these things tells us something different about the institution. It is not simply an unsophisticated way of grading universities that is the same from ranking to ranking. The rankings are a series of snapshots from a different kind of perspective, each one. You can glean a general point, which is that the institution is in good shape and stacks up well nationally, internationally, but if you look at the individual ones, there are things you can learn.