The value of university: Our first-ever college rankings | The Economist (IS VERY FLAWED)

Source: The value of university: Our first-ever college rankings | The Economist

I commented.

I’m a former math professor who has been observing the corrupt system of American higher education for decades. Even though I have little regard for this mainly corrupt and fraudulent system, I find that your rankings don’t help at all. Unfortunately, they are misleading – something very disappointing since your issue on higher education was deeply insightful.

Here, in a glaring way, is an example why your rankings are so misleading.

From my own compilation of data sources, I find the following discrepancies. (Links to data, and some of my own rankings are on my blog .)

Among highly selective schools, Caltech, Rice and Carnegie Mellon rank 1st, 9th and 15th in value added, according to a Brookings study.

In my own analysis of schools whose science and engineering undergraduates go on to get a PhD, Caltech ranks 26th, Rice 35th and Carnegie Mellon 48th – even though most engineering graduates don’t go on for a PhD.

Finally, I know something about these schools personally, especially their intro math courses. Just from this, I find your rankings questionable. That is because the way those courses are taught are reflective of a university’s attitude toward their students. Are they seen as “customers” or young people in need of a good education.

I hope The Economist, with its usual outstanding reporting, will correct this ranking.

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