World & International University Rankings 2012

A crucial step in choosing a school is to make visits to colleges that interest you. There, you can get a good feel for how you’ll fit into campus life. However, unless all of the colleges are close to your home, it can be very expensive to travel to all of these schools. To help you narrow down your list, world and international university rankings give you a look at the academic programs available to you.

Academic Ranking of World Universities

One of the most popular and well-respected college ranking lists is the Academic Ranking of World Universities, which is compiled by China’s Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Some of the factors that are considered when this list is compiled include alumni and faculty member awards, researchers, articles published in prominent journals, and academic performance. This list was first compiled in 2003, and it is updated annually to rank colleges from around the world.

Times Higher Education World University Rankings

Along with the Academic Rankings of World Universities, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings is one of the most prominent sources for information about college from around the world. This list was first compiled in 2004 in conjunction with Quacquarelli Symonds, and from 2010 on, the list will be compiled in conjunction with Thomson Reuters. Due to the switch, the methodology is bound to change over the next several years, but currently, some of the factors that are considered when ranking universities include the following: peer review, faculty achievements, student-to-staff ratio, and more.

Other Rankings

Although the Academic Rankings of World Universities and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings are the two most prominent sources for international college rankings, there are other lists that could help you choose between schools as well. Some of these include the following:

  • The Performance Rankings of Scientific Papers for World Universities: Produced by the Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan, this list compiles data about where faculty and students from leading world schools have been published in the last decade.
  • Newsweek’s Top 100 Global Universities: This list combines data from the Academic Rankings of World Universities and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, as well as considers library resources available at each college.
  • Webometrics Ranking of World Universities: Cybermetric Labs, which is part of the National Research Council in Spain, publishes this list, which is based on web presence.

In addition to these resources, you should also check out where your favorite picks are listed on regional lists. Many organizations, magazines, and government departments from around the world rank schools in specific countries or areas of the world. These lists give you the added benefit of learning about smaller schools that may not qualify for larger global lists. Remember, international and national rankings alike are just a start when you’re picking the best educational program. The best school for you isn’t necessarily the one at the top of the experts’ lists.

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