U.S. News and World Reporthas announced that it will release its first global ranking of universities on Oct. 28. U.S. News plans to publish a global ranking of the top 500 universities across 49 countries, as well as four regional, 11 country-level, and 21 subject area-specific rankings.
The Best Global Universities ranking will be based on reputational data, bibliometric indicators of academic research performance, and data on faculty and Ph.D. graduates. Robert Morse, U.S. News’s chief data strategist, said that there will be no cross-over of data between the publication's longstanding ranking of American colleges and the new global ranking, which will rely on data from Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters also provides data for the global university ranking compiled by Times Higher Education (THE).
“What we’re doing is completely, 100 percent independent from THE,” Morse said. “It’s our methodology, our choice of variables, our choice of weights, our choice of how the calculations are done, our choice of how the data’s going to be presented.”
U.S. News is entering into territory dominated by three major global university rankings: those produced by Times Higher, the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, and QS. “I think it’s natural for U.S. News to get into this space,” Morse said. “We’re well-known in the field for doing academic rankings so we thought it was a natural extension of the other rankings that we’re doing."
Morse pointed out that U.S. News will also be the first American publisher to enter the global rankings space (Times Higher and QS are both British, while the Shanghai rankings originate in China). Noting that to date there hasn’t been much interest among the general American public in global university rankings (as opposed to U.S.-specific ones), Morse said, “maybe people will pay more attention to the ones we do.”
U.S. News and World Reportannounced Wednesday that some data that two colleges had submitted for the most recent rankings was incorrect. For one of the institutions, Lindenwood University, the correct data would have resulted in a different rating, so the magazine moved the institution to its "unranked" category. In Lindenwood's case, it added the numeral 1 in front of the correct number of alumni donors used in the magazine's calculation of the alumni giving rate. When the correct figure of 2,411 was used, instead of 12,411, the giving rate dropped from 37.5 percent to 11.9 percent. The correction for the other institution -- Rollins College -- did not change its ranking. Rollins had reported admitting 2,233 students, when it really admitted 2,783. That change increased the acceptance rate from 47.2 percent to 58.8 percent.
In recent years, several colleges have admitted to sending U.S. News incorrect data intentionally. But via email, Robert Morse, who leads the rankings effort at U.S. News, said that these were "honest mistakes" caused by "one-off, one-time sloppy reporting."
A new British Council report forecasting trends in mobility at the graduate (or post-graduate) level through 2024 projects that China and India will continue to fuel growth in the number of outbound graduate students, and that the average annual rate of growth in the number of outbound students from India will exceed that of China. "For destination markets, this [India] is likely to be the real opportunity for inbound student growth over the next decade," the report states.
Other countries that are forecasted to experience high rates of growth in the number of outbound graduate students include Nigeria, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. The report also predicts that the U.S. will remain the No. 1 destination country for internationally mobile master’s and Ph.D. students in 2024, followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia.
A new report from Moody's Investors Service describes how the phenomenon of high school students applying to significantly more colleges and universities is causing difficulties for institutions. The report finds that:
A growing number of colleges are reporting yields -- the percentage of accepted applicants who enroll -- of less than 20 percent.
Discount rates (the percentage of tuition sticker price that students and their families don't pay) are rising, limiting net tuition revenue for colleges.
The University of Chicago today announced an expansion of efforts to help low-income students. Under the efforts, loans will be replaced with grants in need-based financial aid packages, no application fees will be charged to those applying for financial aid, the aid application process will be simplified, and the university will hold more than 100 free sessions, nationwide, to explain the admissions and financial aid process.
The University of California System plans to review its recent push to admit more out-of-state applicants, the Associated Press reported. Janet Napolitano, president of the university system, told the AP, "There are enough people that are concerned about it and have expressed that concern to me — and I've seen it myself by looking at the numbers — that it deserves a serious look, and we are giving it that." Thirty percent of those offered admission this year came from outside California, a sharp increase from historic levels. University officials have noted the need for revenue in an era of tighter state budgets (although the state provided increases this year). California residents pay $13,300 for tuition while those from elsewhere pay more than $36,000.