- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Looking to attend the best college in the world? That would be Harvard, said U.S. News & World Report, in its recent rankings that come out once a year.

But ratings watchers see a conflict with the list, The Washington Post reported. On one hand, the U.S. News & World Report just cited Princeton as the best university in America — just a month ago. But now, on the other hand, Harvard beats Princeton for the global top spot. Why?

The ratings gurus at U.S. News & World Report said they’ve introduced a new way to rank universities through the global lens, versus national view. For the global report, U.S. News & World used data from Thomson Reuters InCites to look at the worldwide reputations of the schools, the numbers and types of scholarly publications and citations they put forth, and the number of doctoral degrees that were awarded, The Washington Post reported.

During national ratings races, the outlet considers undergraduate admissions selections, graduation rates and alumni donations, among other sets of criteria.

“This [global ranking] is about faculty productivity and prestige,” said U.S. News editor Brian Kelly, The Washington Post reported. “It is meaningful for certain things and not necessarily meaningful for other things. We get that. This is about big muscular research universities doing what research universities claim is their mission.”

The United States touts 134 of the 500 top schools among 49 nations — including eight of the top 10. Oxford and Cambridge round out the top 10 list, while Germany has 42 schools on the list. The United Kingdom has 38 and China, 27.

The top 10 in order: Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California-Berkeley, Stanford University, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, California Institute of Technology, University of California-Los Angeles, University of Chicago and Columbia University.

For national universities, U.S. News & World listed Princeton, Harvard and Yale as the top three — in that order.

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