University Rankings: Is It All That?

Don’t take your eye off the ball – Keep your objective insight.

Often than not, students get waivered by looking at university rankings and scamper around evaluating them as being the only yardstick available. Many a time, universities are rated by students not by what they can acquire from them as an opportunity, but as individuals merely perceiving the number they see as being the ultimate statement of truth. 

Although rankings play an important part in the overall offeringof a university, it’s isn’t the only thing left to make a decision by, and you won’t have missed the boat if you choose something with a higher number further away from the top. Many do and have created their own success stories.

Take it with a pinch of salt.

There are quite a few institutions that rank universities. The most renowned university ranking organizations are U.S. News & World ReportQS World University RankingsShanghai, and  Times Higher Education, who annually provide both local and global university rankings.  

They each, in turn, use various matrices to obtain the ultimate number. 

Times focus on education quality, faculty fact-finding, and citations of faculty work. 

QS World Rankings uses a global survey of institutional professionals about academic reputation (40%) and provides rankings by location.

U.S. News & World Report uses 13 criteria to assess institutions, focusing primarily on reputation, research, and publications. Additionally, for its local ranking, it has many other metrics, including Best National Universities, Best Graduate Programs, etc. (for several different academic areas).

The Shanghai list relies on the quality of education and faculty, volume of research, and proportionate performance.

As of right as rain

Although institutions can be benchmarked with a set criterion, students, on the other hand, aren’t as elementary to gauge. Ascertaining strengths and weaknesses at times is as difficult as nailing jelly to a tree.

There are many factors that go hand in hand when choosing the right university, and some go beyond the classroom or academics. Finance, Career Prospects, Location, etc. all go arm in arm when choosing the right university.

A gold mine

Universities, on the other hand, irrespective of rank and prestige, go over and beyond to look after their students, from organizing job fairs and job searches, to including currently available positions, right through mock interviews and resume review, outlining career options, targeted effective cover letters and preparation for D-Day – all falling part of their agenda. A student’s success is eventually a victory for the university.

Of the 107 graduates of the Class of 2019 from Gonzaga University (QS World Ranking 1026), over 80% were employed as of the ABA report date of March 16, 2020. As for Salaries for Gonzaga University Graduates – $70,055,

Looking at the University of Dayton, on the other hand, with 98% working in their chosen field or a steppingstone towards it, is a testament showcased to their success. 

A drop in the bucket

University rankings aren’t set in stone and showcased to stand the test of time; it is the resilience of the individual who absorbs the matter being transmitted and the ensuing throughput, which creates the difference. The ultimate oeuvre that will showcase all else eventually boils down to the individual. Our great Indian thought leader and People’s President – Abdul Kalam, is one such example. He attained his physics degree in 1954 from Saint Joseph’s College, Tiruchirappalli, affiliated with the University of Madras. He moved on to study aerospace engineering at Madras Institute of Technology in 1955. Rankings of the given institutions can be looked up online. It is the perseverance of making things work out of the few opportunities that comes your way, which is key to creating success.

Success can then be achieved not by mere ranking but by equal collaboration with determination.

Where There Is A Will, There Is Always A Way.

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