UM #20 in yet another "Best Universities on Planet" list

Submitted by superstringer on August 13th, 2018 at 2:34 PM

Yet more to brag about.  The QC World University Rankings, done for several years now, ranks universities on the planet "using a methodology that evaluates academic reputation, employer reputation, student-to-faculty ratio, as well as international reputation."  MIT apparently scored a perfect 100 in each category.

The "2019" rankings are out, and we are #20, the only public US institution in the top 20.  (Berkeley didn't even make the top 20 -- it was #27.)  OSU was #89 and MSU was #141.

(Usually, this is where I'd make some lighthearted joke, and that would be get me in trouble and draw commentators' attention away from the main point I'm trying to make, so... *drops mike*)




August 13th, 2018 at 2:48 PM ^

Mic is definitely much, much more common, but there is nothing close to consensus on which is "right." Mike was actually the earlier form. Personally, whenever I read mic the sound in my head is "mick," but either way with context I can roll with either form. One short discussion about this can be read here:



August 13th, 2018 at 3:13 PM ^

I don't think this is fair. OSU is a pretty strong academic institution and is usually in the top 100 of these world universities rankings. I know they have some strong departments that probably pull up this ranking. Of course, Michigan does so many things so well that our ranking is near the top :)


August 13th, 2018 at 7:02 PM ^

Yeah, as someone noted yesterday, they've really come a long way in the last 25 years.  Some of their business specialties are world-class, and so is their school of pharmacy and their physical therapy degree.  Their music school might be the best in the country.

So, they've made the investment in graduate programs that gives you higher rankings in these kinds of  evaluations.  They can't do anything about their BO, though.


August 14th, 2018 at 11:56 AM ^

Not surprised.

This survey has a category for a grad program in Urgent Fecal Evacuation where OSU ranks #1 globally by a huge margin. Their research into Cooler Pooping has been ground-breaking and is light years beyond anyone else in the field.

But seriously, OSU has done a lot in the last 20 years or so to establish themselves as a much better institution academically and, sports rivalry aside, should be commended for it in the spirit of having more/better educated people in the world is better for everybody.


August 13th, 2018 at 2:56 PM ^

Interesting that Virginia and NC fall so low (192 and 83 respectively) in these rankings when the most popular rankings in the US (US News typically) have them as our peers as public schools or better than us.

For example, by their score criteria, Michigan gets a 98.9 for academic reputation, where Virginia has a 38.6 score in the same category. Ohio State gets a 64.8 score for this criteria. Would anyone in their right mind say Ohio State has almost twice the academic reputation of UVA?

I know college rankings are often seen as a crap-shoot, but does someone who knows more than me have an explanation for why this would be the case?


August 14th, 2018 at 10:33 AM ^

The simple answer is that these rankings are crap. I know it's impossible to accurately rank universities worldwide using a purely quantitative algorithm, but let me throw out this anecdotal example to show how terrible this algorithm is:

Dartmouth: #183, Academic reputation: 21.9. Employer reputation: 34.5

Michigan State: #141, Academic reputation: 61.4. Employer reputation: 54.8.


August 13th, 2018 at 3:07 PM ^

I wouldn't take stock in one ranking methodology, but a pretty strong indication of quality is a school appearing near the top of multiple lists. Michigan, Berkeley, UCLA, UW Seattle, UT Austin are consistently in the top tier of public institutions year after year on various metrics, including research funding, scholarly output, peer reputation, etc. 

I know we like to bash on OSU, but OSU is a pretty strong academic school. It's just not as good overall as Michigan. MSU though... we know the jokes by heart. 

Go Blue!


oriental andrew

August 13th, 2018 at 4:14 PM ^

Because I'm nerdy this way, the Big Ten schools overall rankings / US rankings

  • 20 / 11, Michigan
  • 34 / 16, Northwestern
  • 53 / 20, Wisconsin
  • 71 / 25, Illinois
  • 89 / 28, ohio state
  • 95 / 30, Penn State
  • 100 / 31, Purdue
  • 126 / 35, Maryland
  • 141 / 38, michigan state
  • 156 / 40, Minnesota
  • 283 / 59, Rutgers
  • 323 / 63, Indiana
  • 435 / 84, Iowa
  • 551-560 / 103, Nebraska

For the record, notre dame clocks in at 212 / 51, which would put it 11th in the conference. 

Average US ranking by conference:

  • Big Ten - 41.6
  • Pac 12 - 48.4
  • ACC - 61.2 (not including nd)
  • SEC - 98.8
  • Big XII - 101.4

Only the Big Ten and Pac 12 had all schools represented in the list.

  • ACC was missing Louisville (I counted nd as independent)
  • Big XII was missing West Virginia and TCU
  • SEC was missing Mississippi State

Nebraska was the lowest-rated Big Ten school, tied for 103 in the US. One Pac 12 school (Oregon), one ACC school (Clemson), 4 Big XII schools (TTU, KSU, OSU, Baylor), and 7 SEC schools (SCar, Mizzou, LSU, Bama, Auburn, Arkansas, and Mississippi) were rated lower than Nebraska. 

As noted, Michigan is the highest-rated US public university on the list. Next are Cal (27 / 14), UCLA (32 / 15), and Wisconsin (53 / 20). 

Of the Power 5 schools, only Stanford (2 / 2) is rated higher than Michigan. Duke (26 / 13) and Northwestern (34 / 16) both fall behind UM on this list. 

The Big Ten has the most schools in the top 100 in the world, with 7 schools. Pac 12 is next with 4, the ACC has 3, and the Big XII has 1. Florida is the highest-rated SEC school at 180 in the world and 42 in the country. 


The Big Ten is the most well-regarded academic conference in the country, by these rankings, and Michigan is the cream of that crop. 

Arb lover

August 13th, 2018 at 4:28 PM ^

I don't get how Florida is above Vanderbilt, but then I'm biased.

Also ranking based on public reputation only get you so far, as some of the reputation comes from lists like this.

Class size is also a metric I could care less about; it's something that matters more in elementary school, where here students hopefully know how to get the rescources they need and instead quality of thought, knowledge, and peer competition produce better quality graduates than class size.