31 January 2010

The powerhouse of the mind

Substantial attention has recently been given to the University of Shanghai's academic ranking of world universities.

For what it's worth, here is their top 100.

Notable points: Of the top 100 universities, Belgium, Norway, and Finland each have one, Israel has one (the Islamic world with two hundred times Israel's population has zero), the Netherlands has two, Denmark has two, France has three, Switzerland has three, Sweden has three, Australia has three, Canada has four, Germany has five, Japan has five, Britain has eleven -- and the United States has fifty-five. Even more telling, seventeen of the top twenty are American. The state of California alone has five of the top twenty.

Our nation is the powerhouse of the mind.

I cannot resist pointing out that the university I myself attended ranks, according to the list, third on the planet.

12 Comments:

Blogger tnlib said...

Brag, brag, brag. ; )

This is actually very interesting. The U.S., which has 55 of the top 100 with 17 of them at the very top, and Britain falls directly behind us with only 11 total?

"Our nation is the powerhouse of the mind." So where does that leave Beck and Co.?

31 January, 2010 18:07  
Blogger Holte Ender said...

Congratulations of attending the third best university on the planet, didn't George W. Bush attended the first best university on the planet?

If Sweden, Denmark or Britain had a comparable population to the USA they would each have about 60 world class universities.

31 January, 2010 20:06  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

TNLib: The ratio of 55 to 11 between Britain and the US is about what you'd expect given that the US has about five times Britain's population.

"Our nation is the powerhouse of the mind." So where does that leave Beck and Co.?

Even Einstein had a rectum:-)

HE: Yeah, but he only got in because his daddy was a big shot.

The thing that's actually striking about this, to me, is that every one of those top 100 universities is in a rich country, even though rich countries have only about 20% of the global population. Top-quality education takes wealth -- and, more to the point, also generates wealth.

If Denmark had a comparable population to the USA it would undoubtedly be the dominant culture on the planet (good idea).

01 February, 2010 01:44  
Blogger tnlib said...

Didn't consider population. Didn't Bush attend Yale rather than Harvard?

01 February, 2010 06:37  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I'm not sure where Bush went. Neither is he, probably:-)

01 February, 2010 08:24  
Blogger Holte Ender said...

Bush did go to Yale, my apologies for suggesting otherwise. Only the 11th best University on the planet, that explains his shortcomings.

01 February, 2010 09:21  
Blogger Octopüß said...

Bush attended both: Undergrad at Yale (with mediocre grades), and an MBA from Harvard (not a very sterling recommendation), which proves one point: Rankings are more popularity contest than a true indicator of academic excellence. Witness the U of Chicago ranking - it shows what the miracle of quantitative methods can accomplish without having a foot in reality.

01 February, 2010 09:51  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Yale or Harvard are hardly discredited by Bush having gone there. All universities accept a certain number of applicants for reasons other than merit, and there can be reasons why mediocre performers get good grades (I saw this at Berkeley with people who attended mainly to play sports). They pretty much ignored academics, but still got passing grades because the professors preferred to let things slide rather than go through the headache of fighting the sports program which wanted to keep them regardless of whether they were really doing good enough work to pass.

01 February, 2010 10:39  
Anonymous NickM said...

Mine is 83. Could be worse...

03 February, 2010 08:23  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

Hey, where is Regent University on this list?

Rigged by those damned liberals again.

05 February, 2010 10:50  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I guess folks in Shanghai just don't give credit for Biblical creationism classes.....

05 February, 2010 10:53  
Anonymous Hugo Grinebiter said...

Perhaps it's more that your nation is the geographical location for powerhouses of the mind staffed by foreigners?

A Spanish engineer I know worked in a US university, and attended a meeting with a corporation re commercialisation of an invention. Three people came from each side, and all six were foreigners.

You are stratifying by nationality and class: native-born Americans flip the hamburgers for Asian-born scientists to eat, the profits from both going again to a different stratum of native-born.

When the national security state and religious mania have finished slamming the door to ambitious foreign brains, these will find another powerhouse of the mind to migrate to and develop. I wonder where it will be? Probably not Denmark, which is suffering from an attack of xenophobia.

20 February, 2010 00:44  

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