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Thread: European university ranking 2013/14

  1. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by mihaitzateo View Post
    A lot from the success of an University is about what teachers it has.
    It is very normal that for an Eastern European Country,except Russia,teachers are not great since salaries are low.
    Russia has much better salaries at teachers.
    One of the reasons US has best Universities in what the students from there are achieving is because they have very good teachers,since teachers are paid very well and are very respected there.
    In the USA most Universities are Private (i.e. costs lot of money ~tens of thousands of $ to get in) which is of course used for the experts and libraries and research centers etc.; In Germany for example the Unis. are Public and only some areas are required to pay a fee of ~200-500 Euros and the courses are usually in German which doesnt make it attractive for International students unlike Britain and USA; Which are also factors for these rankings; Prague and Krakow should not be forgotten as for the great Medieval/Renaissance Unis. Prague was in fact the first German speaking University;

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Switzerland has a smaller population than Austria or Sweden. That did not prevent it from outranking even large countries like France, Italy and Spain. Actually the Netherlands outranked even Germany, which is five times more populous.

    Looking at it from another angle, small countries like Ireland, Denmark or Finland all perform better than Italy, Spain or Poland, and almost as well as France.

    So size doesn't mean anything. England and the Netherlands outrank all other countries in per capita figures too.
    Switzerland can be explained away by the availability of large amounts of capital out of all proportion to its population. A lot of rich people choose to live in Switzerland. But I'll admit that my theory doesn't explain why Holland performs so well.

    Perhaps the real issue is elitism. I know that the average Canadian university is better than the average American university but none of our universities compare to the top American universities. The emphasis here in Canada is more on making sure that all universities are up to a certain standard, rather than on sifting for the best, whereas the Americans seem to strive to have a few really excellent universities and throw the rest of their students into lesser institutions without worrying as much about quality in those places. As a result, while University of Toronto is a very good university, it's not really in the same class as Harvard, whereas our smaller provincial universities provide a better education than what you could get at a post-secondary institution in Sheep's Butt, Montana or Deliverance, Alabama.

    I don't know how that theory would play out in Europe, except that I do know that Oxford and Cambridge are reputed to be quite elitist.

    In Europe, the north/south divide does seem to be real, at least at the present. Although Angela is correct in pointing out that wasn't always the case, it certainly seems to be true now. As for religion, Ireland is almost as Catholic as Spain but outperforms it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I'm European born and 'partly' bred and proud of it; I'm also a proud American. The two are not incompatible. Many Europeans seem to have a very limited understanding of America and what it means to be an "American"; it is not based on bloodlines. In fact, it's been my experience that often those of us who have some basis for comparison with other countries are "more" appreciative of what this country has to offer, and what things make it unique. I don't give a **** whether somebody is descended from Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln combined, it doesn't make them more "American" than I am. Nor has it ever been suggested or even hinted to me that I'm in any way a "second class" American because I chose to become a citizen, rather than having been born one.

    This isn't the Balkans, you know. Most Americans have quite happily put the worst aspects of these ethnic differences behind us. The kind of tribal bickering, and "trash talk", and more so, the outright warfare, including mass rapes and ethnic cleansing that periodically break out between the different European ethnicities is incomprehensible to most Americans, and contributes to the distrust of Europe and to the large strain of isolationism that is just beneath the surface.

    As for foreign students, it would be nice if they showed some appreciation, if not gratitude, for the opportunities they are being afforded. I'm also a great believer in copyright and intellectual property rights...people and institutions should get to keep the benefit of the intellectual property they have fostered and developed. If those people choose to share it, that's their decision, not one that should be made for them. So, were the decision up to me, I would not be particularly inclined to educate a foreign national whose country doesn't recognize those norms.
    Okay, I understand the point.
    Now assume the hypothetical scenario in which USA and Italy are at war and you are at an age and both countries call you to fight. Which country will you fight for? This will give you an answer of what you really are. It is clear that you have to make a choice, especially if you are a male.

    BTW, the notion of citizenship (e.g., being an American) has nothing to do with ethnicity (e.g., being an Italian). And could you please share a couple of thoughts of what does it mean to be an American?

    And also, what is your point in education: someone comes in the USA and gets educated. I find it quite normal for someone, should he go back, or wherever he goes actually, to use the knowledge he acquired, his human capital in order to have a good work and help the society where he lives. Why should he not use his knowledge outside the US?

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    I'm going to take a stab in the dark, and say the English language has to do with the ranking of European colleges. I don't have numbers and this is just an educated guess, but I bet countries with large populations that speak both their native tongue and English have more prestigious colleges. The economical and social world order is dominated by the English language, and I bet as well (I don't have statistics) that those who speak English and their native tongue have on average a higher per capita.

    It's quite obvious that a prestigious college is cyclical in funding and recruitment. If on average the top paying professions require knowledge of the English language, then countries that support English bilingualism will attract college funding from their successful bilingual citizens. More funding equates to better professors, better recruitment, more money for research and development, highly educated graduates, successful graduates, and back to alumni funding (directly or indirectly).

    This could be completely BS, but seemed to make sense.

    - "Instead, English will maintain and grow its dominance, moving from “a marker of the elite” in years past to “a basic skill needed for the entire workforce, in the same way that literacy has been transformed in the last two centuries from an elite privilege into a basic requirement for informed citizenship.”"

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