De la nota en el Washington Post, firmada por Thomas Toch y Kevin Carey: el centro de sus observaciones está en que los rankings de The Times y Jiao Tong se basan en la investigación, pero no en la educación:
Hardly a week goes by without a prominent politician or business leader declaring America's advantage in the global battle for brainpower, citing as evidence a study from Shanghai's Jiao Tong University that rates 17 American universities among the world's 20 best.Toch y Carey aplican sus conclusiones a la rectificación de los rankings, reclamando peso para la capacidad de enseñanza:
But those rankings are based entirely on measures of advanced research, such as journal articles published and Nobel Prizes won -- measures, that is, of the work that's done mostly in graduate programs. And while advanced research is vital to the nation's economic competitiveness, so is producing enough well-educated workers to compete for the high-value jobs of the future.
Undergraduate students are going to make up the bulk of those workers because only 13 percent of the nation's 17 million students in higher education are at the graduate level. Yet a hard look at our undergraduate programs suggests that when it comes to the business of teaching students and helping them graduate, our universities are a lot less impressive than the rhetoric suggests.
Seventy-five percent of high school graduates go on to higher education, but only half of those students earn degrees. And many of those who do graduate aren't learning much. According to the American Institutes for Research, only 38 percent of graduating college seniors can successfully perform tasks such as comparing viewpoints in two newspaper editorials.[La educación universitaria en Estados Unidos tiene una categoría básica (undergraduate), y una superior(graduate)]
And it's an open secret that many of our colleges and universities aren't challenging their students academically or doing a good job of teaching them. In the latest findings from the National Survey of Student Engagement, about 30 percent of college students reported being assigned to read four or fewer books in their entire senior year, while nearly half (48 percent) of seniors were assigned to write no papers of 20 pages or more.
La nota de The Guardian merece la pena de leerse, tanto por el análisis de criterios, como por el seguimiento de rendimiento de las universidades del Reino Unido. Es éste artículo que menciona que la Universidad de Mánchester contratará premios Nobel:
The way to drive higher education institutions to stop ignoring undergraduates in favor of pursuing research is to provide more information about their performance with undergraduates to the consumers who pay tuition bills: students and their parents.
By investing in new ways to gauge the quality of teaching and learning and by requiring taxpayer-subsidized colleges to disclose their performance to the public, the federal government can change the market dynamics in higher education, creating strong incentives for colleges to produce the caliber of undergraduates we need to compete in the global marketplace, incentives to make the rhetoric of being first in the world in higher education a reality.
The University of Manchester, for example, has made it clear that its strategy is to climb the international rankings, which include factors like the number of Nobel prizewinners. The university has pledged to recruit five Nobel laureates in the next few years.Por supuesto, no nos engañemos: una rectificación de los rankings que tuvieran en cuenta los resultados en la entrega de conocimiento, igualmente no cambiaría mucho las posiciones para muchos casos (estoy pensando en la enorme cifra de ingresos a la UBA, relacionada con la cifra de egresados. Ni qué hablar si se la relacionara con el número de graduados trabajando en suárea de incumbencias).
Pisanty menciona además, y a propósito, el blog de Richard Holmes dedicado al análisis de estos rankings.