Yet another publication has released its list of best universities, with an international magazine putting Brown at No. 31 in the world.
The Times Higher Education, based in London, put Brown four spots lower in its World University Rankings than last year. The new ranking placed Brown lower than all other colleges in the Ivy League except Dartmouth. Harvard secured the top spot, as it has since the World University Rankings started in 2004, with the University of Cambridge coming in second and Yale placing third this year.
The U.S. had the greatest number of colleges in the top 200, with 54 schools, but its domination among world universities has decreased this year with four schools dropping out of the rankings since 2008. In an accompanying article, Times Higher Education sub-editor Phil Baty wrote, "The country's decline comes amid improved showings by institutions in Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea and Malaysia."
The magazine, working in conjunction with Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd., a company that researches higher education, based its rankings on four primary criteria: research, teaching, graduate employability and international outlook. Universities were ranked according to the number of times their researchers' published work has been cited, the staff-to-student ratios, the proportion of overseas staff employed and the proportion of overseas students enrolled in the school. Fifty percent of the scoring criteria were based on surveys given to "informed university academics and university employers," according to the publication.
The highest-ranked school in each subcategory received 100 points, with the other institutions ranked as a percentage of that score. Brown received an overall score of 83.9 relative to top-ranked Harvard. Brown professors were given high marks, earning a score of 97 based on their citation in published work. However, the University received some of the lowest scores in the rankings' international staff and international student sections, earning scores of 55 and 53, respectively.
Brown students expressed mixed reactions to the college rankings process.
"I see the value in rankings, as long as the people involved are being honest," said Matt Jacobs '11. "I don't think about rankings as much because I don't always understand how they are calculated."
Arjun Vaidya '13, a student from Mumbai, said he was surprised by Brown's low score in the international students section.
"Adjusting to Brown was really easy," Vaidya said. "They paid attention to our needs, and there were a lot of other international students to relate to."
As for the significance of these numbers abroad, Vaidya said, "College rankings do matter a lot to people back home, but I don't really pay much attention to them."