Thursday, October 08, 2009

Times Higher Ed - QS rankings of world universities

Ranking exercises are stupid -- they don't stand up to even the merest of scrutiny. And that's the only kind of scrutiny I can give to the 2009 THE-QS rankings! [Update: If you want a somewhat more elaborate critique, read this article over at Inside Higher Ed.]

Here's what I found:

  1. IIT-B and IIT-D are the only Indian institutions that make it to the Top-200 in the world -- they stand at 163 and 181 respectively. Their overall composite scores are 58.4 and 56.6.

    You turn now to the ranking of Asian universities, and look at the IITs. You do find IIT-B and IIT-D ranked at 30 and 36 (no overall scores are given in this list).

    But wait a minute: IIT-K is also there at No. 34.

    IIT-K is good enough to beat IIT-D in Asia, but not in the World?

  2. How sadly off-the-mark should this exercise be if it ranks IIT-R (Rank: 63) way ahead of IIT-KGP (Rank: 141)?

It's bad stuff. It's not worth any more of our time.

But I do expect one or both of the following:

  • clueless Indian journalists will go gaga over this list in tomorrow's newspapers.

  • one or two anonymous commenters will come in and tell us about all the ways in which IIT-R is actually "better" than IIT-KGP.


  1. Subrahmanya said...

    I could not find the ranking of Asian universities anywhere on the THE website

  2. Rahul Siddharthan said...

    About the IIT-K thing: perhaps the methodology, as described in your update link, gives the answer. 50% of the ranking is based on reputation. Perhaps the Asian ranking is based on Asian reputation... which doesn't make it any more meaningful, of course.

  3. Anonymous said...

    On a side note - it would be a good excercise for India's academic managers to compare not the research output of individuals/depts/instis but the infrastructure level for a particular research program carried out in every dept. with ther western/eastern counterparts or competitors. That will be the key to retain and attract talent in future besides advancing research standards.

  4. Khalil Sawant said...

    Univ of Mumbai(which is a hub and spoke univ) is above IIT-KGP - lolz :)