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SCUP Links
Curated content on higher education presented by the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP).
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How Economically Diverse Is Your College? A 'New York Times’ Ranking May Soon Tell

How Economically Diverse Is Your College? A 'New York Times’ Ranking May Soon Tell | SCUP Links |

"The newspaper's new project isn't trying to pick the best colleges. It’s more interested in how well they attract underprivileged students. ... 'Our project is much more of an analysis than it is any attempt at a comprehensive ranking,' says David Leonhardt, who heads The Upshot, the "Times" division that will produce the new ratings."

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

Other rankings "'are all attempts at some kind of comprehensive overview,' Mr. Leonhardt said in a follow-up interview on Thursday. What The Upshot plans to unveil, starting with the findings being released at the September conference, is a 'a more targeted look,' based on particular slices of data. 'We’re not trying to do a comprehensive, throw-everything-in look at colleges.'"

Tracey Vickery's curator insight, September 5, 2014 11:17 PM

This might be the way to finally break the branding zombies.!

Indian Universities Still Lag in World Rankings

Indian Universities Still Lag in World Rankings | SCUP Links |

The three ranking surveys use methodologies that emphasize academic research and faculty citation in journals, followed by other measures like employer reputation, academic reputation, faculty-student ratio, and the international composition of faculty and students. Indian universities lose out on many of these fronts. In addition to lack of research citations, they perform badly on other metrics like faculty-to-student ratios and lack of internationalism.

To be sure, there is a debate around rankings methodology and whether it is fair to rate Indian universities against older and richer Western institutions.

“India has domestic priorities to educate more young people,” said Phil Baty, editor of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Still, he said, “there should be an elite group of institutions that focus on global competitiveness.”

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

Intense: "Competition to get into elite state-run colleges is fierce. Last year, 512,000 applicants sought admission for 9,647 spots in the 15 technology institutes and the Indian School of Mines. Indian news media regularly report on the exorbitant percentages required of graduating high school students to gain a spot at state-run institutions like Delhi University or Bombay University, sometimes upward of 99 percent in certain colleges for degrees in commerce or technology."

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The feds tried to rate colleges in 1911. It was a disaster.

The feds tried to rate colleges in 1911. It was a disaster. | SCUP Links |

"At the turn of the 20th century, college was for the elite. Less than 3 percent of the US population had a bachelor's degree in 1910; just 14 percent had even finished high school.

Still, the number of colleges in the US had nearly doubled in the previous 50 years.And the new Association of American Universities was confronting a pressing question, according to David Webster, whowrote in 1984 about the early federal rating system in the History of Education Quarterly: When students applied to graduate school, how could universities know how good their undergraduate education was?

So the association did something that would be unthinkable in higher education today. It asked the federal government to step in.

The US Bureau of Education's top higher education official, Kendric Babcock, a former college president, agreed to tackle the question. Babcock thought he could create a rating system for more than 600 colleges that could judge "exactly the worth of the degrees granted by the widely varying institutions in the United States" and be accepted both in the US and abroad as an indicator of quality.

This turned out to be wildly optimistic."

Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)'s insight:

"The uproar made it all the way to President William Howard Taft, who issued an executive order banning the distribution of the ratings developed by his own federal agency. The next president, Woodrow Wilson, who had spent much of his life in academia, let Taft's order stand despite pressure from the Association of American Universities to rescind it."

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