Why US Universities dominate the Global University Rankings
With more than half of the universities in the Top 10 and more than one-third of the universities in the Top 200 being from the United States, the Global University Ranking Leagues are yet again ruled by the US universities. Although more than 85 countries occupy the 2013 university rankings, the proportion is highly distorted. The major question that hovers is: Why US universities dominate the Global University Rankings.
A research paper published by a leading university in Australia states socio-economic variables like a large population, sturdy revenue flow, high percentage of GDP that is spent towards research and English being the native language play a major role behind why US universities dominate the Global University Rankings. Although these variables don’t have much influence individually, together they add to the value. The performance of the UK and Netherlands universities validate the argument further. Apart from these major aspects, factors like public spending towards each citizen, volume of tertiary students in a country and the popularity of the nation among the migrants also affect the performance of a country in the World University Rankings.
Before further delving into the reasons, let us consider the methodologies and criteria used by various University Ranking Leagues while grading the universities. Here we will be considering the World University Rankings given by ARWU, THE and QS. Whereas ARWU and THU give more weightage to research, QS gives importance to the universities’ reputation among employers and academics.
As an initial step, ARWU selects every university that has any Nobel Laureates, Fields Medalists, highly Cited Researchers, papers published in Nature or Science, or significant amount of papers indexed by Science Citation Index-Expanded (SCIE) and Social Science Citation Index (SSCI). To these universities, the following filters are applied subsequent to which the final rankings are arrived at:
Quality of Education: Decided by the number of alumni winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals
Quality of Faculty
Per Capita Academic Performance
Times Higher Education (THE) gauges the universities based on the following factors:
Teaching: the learning environment
Research: volume, income and reputation
Citations: research influence
International outlook: staff, students and research
Industry income: innovation
QS ranks the universities on the basis of the following aspects:
Academic Reputation (survey based)
Employer Reputation (survey based)
Faculty Student Ratio
Citations per Faculty
Proportion of International Students
Proportion of International Faculty
Now looking back at the reasons for why US universities dominate the World University Rankings, the first factor is the large population of the USA; More the number of persons, more the number of tertiary students and researchers, more the number of universities and more the number of research papers and accolade winners. While one may argue that under such circumstances, countries like China, Russia and India should also stand equal with the USA; the factors like the percentage of GDP which US spends on research and per tertiary student pose the counter argument.
The US spends more on education and research compared to other countries . As a result of which students receive better opportunities as well as better infrastructure. Also researchers not only from the US but also from round the globe make the universities in the USA their platform. As a result, more numbers of faculty and students receive important accolades and citations. More spending on tertiary education also ensures better education facilities and good faculty apart from a low student-teacher ratio. Due to this, the volume of international students keeps on swelling. Better students equal to a good recruitment scenario. As a cycle, the US universities become popular not only among migrant students and academics but also among employers for its deliverance of world-class education.
Another important factor is the high income and good socio-economic condition of the USA. More well-off citizens result in a larger highly educated population. Also, a better lifestyle attracts a larger population of migrants from abroad, not only in the form of students but also as faculty. The indigenous language of US being English is an added factor for its good performance. It results in more number of students studying in English, more number of faculties with English as their medium and more number of English-speaking world-class universities which attract both native and non-native English speaking students and faculty. On the other hand in countries like Russia, Germany, Ireland, etc., a large number of good universities offer mostly non-English programmes.
Considering these factors, the performance of UK is equally laudable. Although in terms of numbers, there are less UK universities than US universities in the world university ranking lists, if considered in proportion to its population and number of universities, the performance of UK is also spectacular. Another good performer is Switzerland. The performance of UK also adds a new factor apart from these major reasons: the historical reputation. The legend associated with the universities attracts international students as well as faculty hence, aiding in their consistent good performance in the Global University Rankings. This gets validated by the difference in the QS scale as compared to that of ARWU and THE while considering USA and UK.
Given below is a graphical representation of the performance of US and UK universities in the Top 100 Universities list of the ARWU, THE and QS Global University Rankings 2013.
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Questions related to United States of America
I wish to become a Neurosurgeon, but first I wish to practice in the United States or Singapore for half of my career and to spend last half of my career in India. Whether my wish is a good one? Is it possible? Is my decision is correct? Kindly commend on my wish?
Raja, we have been discussing your career and aspirations for a while now and we appreciate that you want to take Career360's opinion on the matter of your career. So by now, you are aware of the fact what it takes to become a neurosurgeon and what it is to clear USMLE, practise as a resident in the US. We also have discussed the life style and the salary part. Now regarding the first half and later half of the career, we only wish we could predict our timeline on this planet. We do not which might be the first half or which might be the later part. But no wish is bad. If you want to achieve something, you should lest you regret for the rest of your lofe. Now to practise in the US, you may have to appear for USMLE, clear the step 1 and then practise as a resident before you can get the license to practise as a full time neurosurgeon. That is a long process that might take good 4-5 years. You study MBBS in India for 50 months and then complete the 1 year rotational internship and it takes you as many as 5 years. And appearing for USMLE and then working as a resident take another 4 years and so 10 years of your life are spent getting a valid license to practise in the US. And then lets say after 5 years you want to move to Singapore, that takes a whole different processing because you need to appear for their license exam. And you work in Singapore for lets say another 5 years and you come back to India. 15 years of your life are spent studying and getting licenses. But the beauty is within 15 years you can actually get license to practise in 3 countries. So you need to take a call. Or how about you finish MBBS in India, move to Singapore to study your MD/MS and plan on moving to the US? That way the transition is going to be smoother.
Is there any age limit to take admission into Ph.D in USA?
The age limit which almost every University demands is 35 years. If anybody is above that they can might miss the chance to get enroll theirselves for phd.
This age is decided because phd is all about researching and writing ,they usually demand people who is also iinvolved in academics and departmental works.
Are Neurosurgeons happy in San Francisco?
Well I guess they are because they get very good six figure salary and have a great job security although it's stressing but still they like their job cause they got into it knowing the stress it may carry. Neurosurgery is very much in demand and is a very great speciality in medical field.
I hope my answer helps.
All the best.
Are Neurosurgeons happy in New York?
It will all depend upon the lifestyle and the office hours you put in the work. The number of opd days, OT days and the visit to the wards for rounds. It all affect the free time period for a doctor. In USA,you have to pay tax for the services thus it can be little less than what you make in india
Are US Neurosurgeons rich enough to live a comfortable life in the United States?
It will totally depend where are you working and what are you getting paid.
As US is anyways costly ,there lifestyle tends to change.Neurosurgeons in Us are paid according to their qualification as well as where they work
According to research
The average income for a neurosurgeon is $775,968
The middle range income is approx $704,170
the lowest paid are $350,000
And the top 10 % of the neurosurgeon get a pay of $1,229,881 per year!
So it totally depends upon your qualification and the place you work if you can have a comfortable life or not