Never has a violently jubilant crowd overturned cars while chanting “We’re No. 48!” But sometimes a top 50 placement feels alright.
It might not be a riot-worthy finish, but the University of Minnesota landed in the top 50 of a list of the world’s best universities. The appropriately named Center for World University Rankings does exactly what you would think, ranking earth's best schools to accrue debt and hopefully learn stuff at.
The U’s 48th place finish isn’t as shocking as a Big Ten football title would be, since the Gophers have slotted in the mid- to late-40s each of the past three years. Compared to its conference mates, the U ranked in the middle of the pack between No. 47 Penn State and more-than-jocks Ohio State and Rutgers, which close out the top 50. The University of Michigan rated 19th, followed by Northwestern at No. 22 and curd-eating Wisconsin at No. 25.
It’s certainly cool being considered among the best 50 schools in the world, but of course no Internet list is perfect. Rankers almost exclusively used metrics of academic prestige, failing to account for some things that matter most, like affordability or raddest party houses.
Tough to quantify areas such as quality of education and faculty — two of the highest weighted categories — were gauged by winners of prizes and medals one might hold a black-tie banquet for. So that prof who actually prepared you for a career in your field doesn’t mean jack unless she's academically decorated.
Other categories measured the influence and number of research papers showing up in journals you’ve probably never heard of.
Still, across the board Minnesota scored reasonably well, save for in the “alumni employment” — i.e. alumni who are CEOs — category. Apparently the National Taiwan University and 128 other schools produce CEOs at a higher clip than the U of M.
But while the U of M might not best those Ivy League trust fund schools, the top 50 ain’t too shabby.
Take that, No. 1,000 China Pharmaceutical University.
Send news tips to Michael Rietmulder.