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Thread: European university ranking 2013/14

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    Arrow European university ranking 2013/14



    University rankings are conducted by various magazines, newspapers, websites, governments and academics. The three most famous are the Academic Ranking of World Universities (aka ARWU or Shanghai Ranking), the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the QS World University Rankings.

    American universities have long dominated the global rankings. In Europe, the best universities are almost all British. Only Switzerland, Germany, France, Denmark and Sweden managed to get one or two universities in the top 50.

    Here is a comparative table of the all European universities that appear in the global top 100 in at least one of the three rankings.

    Rank Universities Country ARWU Times QS WUR Total Score
    1 University of Cambridge UK 5 7 3 15
    2 University of Oxford UK 10 2 6 18
    3 Imperial College London UK 24 10 5 39
    4 ETH Zürich Switzerland 20 14 12 46
    5 University College London (UCL) UK 21 21 4 46
    6 University of Edinburgh UK 51 39 17 107
    7 Karolinska Institute Sweden 44 36 - (120)
    8 King's College London UK 67 38 19 124
    9 University of Manchester UK 41 58 33 132
    10 École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Switzerland 101+ 37 19 157
    11 École Normale Supérieure France 71 65 28 164
    12 University of Heidelberg Germany 54 68 50 172
    13 University of Bristol UK 64 79 30 173
    14 Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich Germany 61 55 65 181
    15 Technical University Munich Germany 50 87 53 190
    16 London School of Economics UK 101+ 32 68 201
    17 Utrecht University Netherlands 52 74 81 207
    18 Leiden University Netherlands 74 67 74 215
    19 University of Copenhagen Denmark 42 150 45 237
    20 KU Leuven Belgium 101+ 61 77 239
    21 University of Amsterdam Netherlands 101+ 83 58 242
    22 University of Paris 6 France 37 96 112 245
    22 University of Helsinki Finland 76 100 69 245
    24 University of Zurich Switzerland 60 121 78 259
    25 Uppsala University Sweden 73 111 79 263
    26 University of Geneva Switzerland 69 124 71 264
    27 University of Basel Switzerland 83 74 110 267
    28 University of Sheffield UK 101+ 112 71 284
    29 University of Groningen Netherlands 92 98 97 287
    30 Lund University Sweden 101+ 123 67 291
    31 George August University of Göttingen Germany 101+ 63 128 292
    31 Ghent University Belgium 85 85 122 292
    33 Freie Universität Berlin Germany - 86 109 (293)
    34 Aarhus University Denmark 81 138 91 310
    35 École Polytechnique France 201+ 70 41 312
    36 Erasmus University Rotterdam Netherlands 151+ 73 92 316
    36 University of Nottingham UK 84 157 75 316
    36 University of Birmingham UK 101+ 153 62 316
    39 University of Glasgow UK 151+ 117 51 319
    40 Wageningen University Netherlands 101+ 77 150 328
    41 Humboldt University of Berlin Germany - 94 126 (330)
    42 University of Paris-Sud (11) France 39 114 189 342
    43 University of Oslo Norway 70 185 89 344
    44 University of Freiburg Germany 100 152 102 354
    45 Stockholm University Sweden 82 103 170 355
    45 University of Warwick UK 150+ 141 64 355
    47 Delft University of Technology Netherlands 201+ 69 95 365
    48 Durham University UK 201+ 80 90 371
    49 University of Southampton UK 151+ 146 86 383
    50 University of Leeds UK 151+ 139 97 387
    51 Trinity College Dublin Ireland 201+ 129 61 391
    52 University of St Andrews UK 201+ 117 83 401
    53 Maastricht University Netherlands 201+ 98 121 420
    54 Moscow State University Russia 79 232 120 431
    55 University of Strasbourg France 97 217 226 540




    Number of universities listed in each World Top 100 ranking by country


    1. United Kingdom : 37
    2. Netherlands : 17
    3. Germany : 13
    4. Switzerland : 11
    5. France : 9
    6. Sweden : 6
    7. Belgium/Denmark : 4
    8. Finland : 2
    9. Ireland/Russia : 1


    Note that not a single Austrian, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek or Eastern European (except Russia) university made it to any of the Top 100.
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    Country: Germany - Baden-Wurttemberg



    Surprised to not see the Uni. of St. Gallen (Switzerland) in that list; Back in the days they had a very good rep. for economics;

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    in continental Europe this seems to mark the line between the Germanic/Scandinavian world and the Mediterranean world, alltough from an economical/political point of view France seems to belong to the mediterranean area nowadays

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    in continental Europe this seems to mark the line between the Germanic/Scandinavian world and the Mediterranean world, alltough from an economical/political point of view France seems to belong to the mediterranean area nowadays
    I agree that Germanic countries have much better universities than the rest of Europe. Within the Germanic world it is especially West Germanic countries, those with a high percentage of haplogroup R1b-S21 (U106), that score well in the the university rankings.

    It's interesting that the UK and the Netherlands, which overwhelmingly dominate the Top 100, especially when adjusted for population size, also happen to be the two most individualistic countries in Europe.
    Last edited by Maciamo; 08-04-14 at 08:18.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    It's interesting that the UK and the Netherlands, which overwhelmingly dominate the Top 100, especially when adjusted for population size, also happen to be the two most individualistic countries in Europe.

    In terms of genetic the strongest correlation I can think of with the university ranking is the percentage of haplogroup R1b-S21 (U106). It's true that Germanic countries have much better universities than Latin/Celtic, Slavic or other ethnico-linguistic groups in Europe. But within the Germanic world, the R1b-S21-dominant countries also perform better than I1-dominant countries of Scandinavia.
    I think it correlates more with good economy of these countries. I think we can see similar correlation in America and Asia with best universities in rich countries. More money equals better teachers, better equipment, better facilities in general. I'll go here on a whim and guess that during Renaissance best universities were in Italy and Spain.

    The remaining question would be, why germanic countries are so successful in capitalistic market ways of last 200-300 years? Is it individualism, collectivism, order, efficiency, smart people, etc? Sort of base germanic character combined with matching production system?
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    in continental Europe this seems to mark the line between the Germanic/Scandinavian world and the Mediterranean world, alltough from an economical/political point of view France seems to belong to the mediterranean area nowadays

    What I see is a dominance by Great Britain, and then to a much lesser extent, an appearance by some Dutch and German universities.

    To get a complete picture, it helps to take a look at the global rankings. If you're comparing universities globally, it's a wipe out for the U.S.. Only ten universities in Europe appear in the top 50, and of those, 7 are British Isles, with ETH Zurich (15), the Karolinska Institute Sweden (36), and Ecole Polytechnique Lausanne (37) rounding it out. Hardly a stellar performance by the other European countries.

    Thirty of the top 50 are from the U.S. The vast majority of the European universities mentioned in the European list as "the best" are ranked competitively with what I consider very second tier American schools. It surprises me actually. Another reminder that for us, anyway, my parents made the right decision.

    I do think that MIT got robbed...it should be higher up the list, as should Columbia. :)

    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.u.../world-ranking


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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    What I see is a dominance by Great Britain, and then to a much lesser extent, an appearance by some Dutch and German universities.

    To get a complete picture, it helps to take a look at the global rankings. If you're comparing universities globally, it's a wipe out for the U.S.. Only ten universities in Europe appear in the top 50, and of those, 7 are British Isles, with ETH Zurich (15), the Karolinska Institute Sweden (36), and Ecole Polytechnique Lausanne (37) rounding it out. Hardly a stellar performance by the other European countries.

    Thirty of the top 50 are from the U.S. The vast majority of the European universities mentioned in the European list as "the best" are ranked competitively with what I consider very second tier American schools. It surprises me actually. Another reminder that for us, anyway, my parents made the right decision.

    I do think that MIT got robbed...it should be higher up the list, as should Columbia. :)

    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.u.../world-ranking
    The money in the U.S. is HUGE. The best European students will go there to study. I myself had several offers from European and Canadian Universities, but the offer from the US could not be beaten. Simply the US know very well how to attract the best of the best. Eventually these people, with their innovations will continue to increase the power and dominance of America.

    Another thing has to to with incentives. The market in Europe is totally different. Some people even say that the Western like countries of Europe prospered mostly due to the Protestant/Calvinist doctrine. Put it simple, the very first universities were established in Italy and Spain, yet none of them appears in the list. Sad, but true.

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    I'm always surprised at how poorly the University of Paris schools associated with the Sorbonne building (mainly Paris I and Paris IV, and to a lesser degree Paris III and Paris V) perform in these. I would think that many would guess the most prestigious French university to be "the Sorbonne," not ENS or Paris VI. Instead we get:
    Paris I: unranked, unranked, 225
    Paris IV: unranked, unranked, 216

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Echetlaeus View Post
    The money in the U.S. is HUGE. The best European students will go there to study. I myself had several offers from European and Canadian Universities, but the offer from the US could not be beaten. Simply the US know very well how to attract the best of the best. Eventually these people, with their innovations will continue to increase the power and dominance of America.
    Exactly. The people who constantly predict imploding of US economy and culture are just wishful romantic dreamers who hate US for some reason. US attracts too much talent and money from around the globe not to be strong and competitive for a very long time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Exactly. The people who constantly predict imploding of US economy and culture are just wishful romantic dreamers who hate US for some reason. US attracts too much talent and money from around the globe not to be strong and competitive for a very long time.
    I'm actually of two minds about all this bringing of foreign students into the U.S. to study, to a place like MIT, for example. On the one hand, it brings talented people there from all over the world, and some of them stay and work here, and even if they don't, they might contribute to important research while they are at the universities.

    On the other hand, I get very tired of American sponsored and created innovations getting ripped off and copied in parts of the world where, for whatever reason, they seem incapable of really innovative, creative work of their own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    On the other hand, I get very tired of American sponsored and created innovations getting ripped off and copied in parts of the world where, for whatever reason, they seem incapable of really innovative, creative work of their own.
    Yes it doesn't seam fair to inventors and investors, as they surely benefit less than they should or often at all. However the big picture might not be as grim as it might seam. These stolen technologies will help poorer countries to develop faster and at the end they will have money to spend buying US products and investing back in US (because of great US economy). In short, the faster whole world develops the better for US, even if only in economic sense and not strong political dominance of 20th century.
    But still, stealing technologies or anything shouldn't happen in first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I'm actually of two minds about all this bringing of foreign students into the U.S. to study, to a place like MIT, for example. On the one hand, it brings talented people there from all over the world, and some of them stay and work here, and even if they don't, they might contribute to important research while they are at the universities.

    On the other hand, I get very tired of American sponsored and created innovations getting ripped off and copied in parts of the world where, for whatever reason, they seem incapable of really innovative, creative work of their own.
    I like the use of the word "foreign", like the Americans are really natives in the place that they live. Take for example yourself, who may believe that you are an American (may be true in papers), but you may be only a second generation migrant, so far away from the fathers who created the U.S.

    As far as the students are concerned. Of course they should help their countries when they will go back. After all education is for that reason, to make our lives better and help our people. Eventually I hope for convergence, and not divergence.

    P.S. Why do you specifically mention MIT and probably other IVY leagues? If they deserve to go there what is the problem? Or you simply want the prerogatives to stay in the U.S.A so that the dominance will continue? Well, eventually this is not going to happen, especially nowadays where information is global. And apart from that, have you ever considered how many international students are doing PhDs compared to the Americans? Just a reminder ...

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    So there seem to be two major factors at play, the protestant love of hard work and learning, and the availability of lots of money to pay for the development of top quality educational facilities. The British university system developed during Britain's imperial period, when it was the richest country in the world, and momentum has kept the British university system on top and allowed it to expand even after Britain's empire withered away. But will the British university system eventually decline as the British economy continues to falter? And will the momentum in the U.S. gradually shift, with universities in the eastern U.S. declining in importance and more west coast American universities becoming top tier? Time will tell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    I think it correlates more with good economy of these countries. I think we can see similar correlation in America and Asia with best universities in rich countries. More money equals better teachers, better equipment, better facilities in general. I'll go here on a whim and guess that during Renaissance best universities were in Italy and Spain.

    The remaining question would be, why germanic countries are so successful in capitalistic market ways of last 200-300 years? Is it individualism, collectivism, order, efficiency, smart people, etc? Sort of base germanic character combined with matching production system?
    I don't think that good university rankings necessarily correlate with high GDP per capita or healthy economies. If that was the case then Nordic countries; Ireland and Austria would all rank higher. In Germany, Hamburg is the richest city (and Land), but none of its universities made it to the top 100.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkey View Post
    I'm always surprised at how poorly the University of Paris schools associated with the Sorbonne building (mainly Paris I and Paris IV, and to a lesser degree Paris III and Paris V) perform in these. I would think that many would guess the most prestigious French university to be "the Sorbonne," not ENS or Paris VI. Instead we get:
    Paris I: unranked, unranked, 225
    Paris IV: unranked, unranked, 216
    France, like all Romance-speaking countries, has serious problems with its education system. Even in Belgium, where the funding and management of education is separate for French and Dutch speakers, French-speaking universities perform miserably.

    I don't think it's a coincidence that the only French university outside Paris listed above is Strasbourg University, which is historically and culturally more German than French. It even performs better than the Sorbonne.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I'm actually of two minds about all this bringing of foreign students into the U.S. to study, to a place like MIT, for example. On the one hand, it brings talented people there from all over the world, and some of them stay and work here, and even if they don't, they might contribute to important research while they are at the universities.

    On the other hand, I get very tired of American sponsored and created innovations getting ripped off and copied in parts of the world where, for whatever reason, they seem incapable of really innovative, creative work of their own.
    Yes, the US attracts talented people, but I don't think that is the main reason there are so many inventions are made in the US.

    There is simply no other country in the world that rewards inventors that much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I agree that Germanic countries have much better universities than the rest of Europe. Within the Germanic world it is especially West Germanic countries, those with a high percentage of haplogroup R1b-S21 (U106), that score well in the the university rankings.

    It's interesting that the UK and the Netherlands, which overwhelmingly dominate the Top 100, especially when adjusted for population size, also happen to be the two most individualistic countries in Europe.
    Maciamo what does haplogroup have got to do with it? Did you ever check the haplogroups of people lecturing in these universities? You might be surprised what a mix of Nationalities give their services mainly driven by the best salaries and not haplogroups!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maleth View Post
    Maciamo what does haplogroup have got to do with it? Did you ever check the haplogroups of people lecturing in these universities? You might be surprised what a mix of Nationalities give their services mainly driven by the best salaries and not haplogroups!
    You really don't understand. I am just saying that the countries that have the best university ranking also happen to be the ones with high percentages of R1b-S21 (i.e. West Germanic as opposed to North Germanic). It was in reply to bicicleur who noticed that almost all European universities listed in the top 100 were from Germanic countries.

    However, the link with individualism surely has something to do with the way universities are managed. The USA and Australia are also extremely individualistic societies and also have efficiently run universities. It could be just something to do with English-speaking cultures, but the case of the Netherlands (+ Belgium, West Germany and Switzerland) disproves this.

    One of the problems of Romance language countries with universities is that they manage them as if they were social institutions. They want to provide higher education to as many people as possible, and therefore have extremely low registration fees, usually no entrance exam (there are exceptions in some fields like medicine), and allow huge auditorium of 500+ students for one professor, which lowers the quality of the lectures and destroys all interactivity between professor and student. That's a sharp contrast to universities like Oxford and Cambridge, where each student as a designated mentor, and were classes are held in small groups, in which students can ask questions and discuss with their professors.

    In conclusion, individualistic countries could be seen as more elitist as they place more exigent restrictions and higher fees on university enrolment, and run universities like business rather than public charities. However they also provide better infrastructure and a higher quality of education, which explains the discrepancy in rating between individualistic (= West Germanic) countries and more collectivist or social-minded countries.

    I have explained before that individualistic people are:

    - motivated by self-improvement (their own ego) rather than by the approval or respect from others (family, friends).
    - more open to outsiders (because they do not identify strongly with one particular group of people)

    These are traits that strongly define the Anglo-American university system. That is one of the main reason why British and American universities are so cosmopolitan and can therefore attract the brightest (and richest) students from all over the world. This is not the case in more collectivist countries like Japan, Korea and China, where foreign students are much rarer despite the quality of some of their universities.

    I have lived in Japan for five years and I know for a fact that Japanese people choose their university based on prestige only. They often don't care much what subject they will study as long as they can enter Tokyo University, or if they can't Waseda or Keio. Japanese companies also don't care what they new recruits studied, as long as they graduated from a prestigious institution. Their way of thinking is that only the best learners can enrol and graduate from the top universities, so that is itself a sign of talent. Big Japanese companies teach new recruits everything they need to know, so their major rarely matters (except for specialised positions like lawyer or accountant). That's a huge difference from the individualistic Anglo-American system, where personal achievements matter above everything else.

    In southern Europe, France and Francophone Belgium, university is seen as a social right, just like unemployment benefits or public health insurance. It's not about proving one's capabilities but just fitting into the system and usually build social connections that will serve during one's career. It's a system that is neither individualistic nor truly collectivist in the Asian sense of the term, but rather "socialist" or "communitarian". Unfortunately that's also the least efficient of the three systems in today's world (both for academic proficiency and employment opportunities).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I don't think that good university rankings necessarily correlate with high GDP per capita or healthy economies. If that was the case then Nordic countries; Ireland and Austria would all rank higher. In Germany, Hamburg is the richest city (and Land), but none of its universities made it to the top 100.
    The Nordic countries, Ireland and Austria all have relatively small populations, so even though they all have relatively high GDP per capita, that doesn't mean that they have the kinds of large pools of capital necessary to pay for the creation and maintenance of elite educational institutions. And the Nordic countries were poor until the 20th century and Ireland was quite poor until a few decades ago. However, Austria was the head of a large empire until about 100 years ago, so if it never was a world leader in terms of elite universities, we'd have to look at some other factor, such as the catholic versus protestant issue meaning less individualism and perhaps less admiration for learning.

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    Italy got a lot of scientists and are Romance speakers.
    Sweden compared to Norway got a lot more scientists.
    I do not think is relevant to what group of people your ethnicity belongs,in how good a University is .
    For example,Russians and Ukrainians are almost same people,but education is a lot more developed in Russia,compared to Ukraine.
    As for your note that Eastern Europe Universities are not in the top ,that is really not important for me,because this is only a measurement done by some people way of seeing things.
    A more fair measurement of how good education+how people in a country are is the number of medals at international Olimpics,where things are quite different.
    Here for example the results of International Mathematical Olympiad:
    https://www.imo-official.org/results.aspx

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    Quote Originally Posted by mihaitzateo View Post
    Italy got a lot of scientists and are Romance speakers.
    Sweden compared to Norway got a lot more scientists.
    I do not think is relevant to what group of people your ethnicity belongs,in how good a University is .
    For example,Russians and Ukrainians are almost same people,but education is a lot more developed in Russia,compared to Ukraine.
    As for your note that Eastern Europe Universities are not in the top ,that is really not important for me,because this is only a measurement done by some people way of seeing things.
    A more fair measurement of how good education+how people in a country are is the number of medals at international Olimpics,where things are quite different.
    Here for example the results of International Mathematical Olympiad:
    https://www.imo-official.org/results.aspx
    Yes, I was about to post something similar. Also ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest shows that the winners of the past 13 years always came from either Russia, Poland or China.
    Before the winners were always from english-speaking countries and the contest itself was founded in the US. The shift to the east happened around year 2000. Interesting again is the absense of south europeans.
    The university ranking posted by Maciamo seems to incorporate also past performances (prices, publications, citations), so one should be cautious as the contest results might change the ranking if these eastern countries catch-up economically. I think the university ranking indeed does reflect economic power because intellectual capacity must be applied in an organized way in order to be successful.

    Year Country Institution
    2013 Russia Saint Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics
    2012 Russia Saint Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics
    2011 China Zhejiang University
    2010 China Shanghai Jiao Tong University
    2009 Russia Saint Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics
    2008 Russia Saint Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics
    2007 Poland University of Warsaw
    2006 Russia Saratov State University
    2005 China Shanghai Jiao Tong University
    2004 Russia Saint Petersburg State University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics
    2003 Poland University of Warsaw
    2002 China Shanghai Jiao Tong University
    2001 Russia St. Petersburg State University
    2000 Russia St. Petersburg State University
    1999 Canada University of Waterloo
    1998 Czech Republic Charles University
    1997 United States Harvey Mudd College
    1996 United States University of California, Berkeley
    1995 Germany Albert-Ludwigs-Universität
    1994 Canada University of Waterloo
    1993 United States Harvard University
    1992 Australia University of Melbourne
    1991 United States Stanford University
    1990 New Zealand University of Otago
    1989 United States University of California, Los Angeles
    1988 United States California Institute of Technology
    1987 United States Stanford University
    1986 United States California Institute of Technology
    1985 United States Stanford University
    1984 United States Johns Hopkins University
    1983 United States University of Nebraska
    1982 United States Baylor University
    1981 United States University of Missouri–Rolla
    1980 United States Washington University in St. Louis
    1979 United States Washington University in St. Louis
    1978 United States Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    1977 United States Michigan State University
    Last edited by ElHorsto; 08-04-14 at 21:00. Reason: hyperlink

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    This has nothing to do with religion and it has nothing to do with haplogroups. It has to do with the concentration of capital, as has been pointed out upthread. Just follow the money, and not the money in the individual pocket, but the money that is concentrated for investment. Money that comes from some quasi-feudal system of land ownership also doesn't count.

    Were the ancient Greeks Protestants and predominantly U-106 when they established the academies and western philosophy, history and science in Athens, and Sicily, and Alexandria? I don't think so.

    Were the Arabs of Baghdad and Al-Andalus Protestant Christians and predominantly U-106 when they created the centers of learning for the world of that period?

    Were the Renaissance Italians who established the first universities in 'modern' Europe, the first medical school, the elements of modern banking, and rediscovered and applied the science and the medicine of the ancients U-106, and Protestant?

    I don't think so. If a hypothesis is going to be proposed, it has to account for all of this, all of these people of myriad religious traditions and genetic make-ups, not just the last three hundred years. That's a blip in the history of mankind.

    You can actually follow the concentration of capital, and the formation of universities, through modern European history...Italy, France and the Low Countries, Britain, the U.S., and now the Far East has been added. Before the Renaissance, as I stated, the picture was quite different.

    The Italian education system was still quite good until fairly recently, surprisingly so given the lack of funds and the rigor and stultifying effect of the university tenure system, when it fell prey to the stupidities of various socialistic ideas, such as the open admissions policies at the universities that was adopted only a few decades ago. The result is that tremendous sums of money are expended on students who will never finish university because they are incapable of doing the work.

    And, as was mentioned upthread, you need the sustained effort of an organized body both to concentrate capital and to develop top notch universities. In an era of industrialization, you also need need large quantities of natural resources, which usually means large nation states, i.e. the U.S. Russia, China. England has managed to hang on even though the glory days when it dominated the world are over, (which ended, btw, when its access to the natural resources of other countries came to an end), but some of that has to do with the position of London in terms of the world markets.

    The culture of a country is formed by the accretion of customs over time as the result of different historical events. Genetics may play some role, but a country's culture is not deterministically mapped in the genomes of its people. Otherwise, Germans would still be the large creatures incapable of sustained hard work who seemed to spend all their time lolling around in a drunken stupor, as described by Tacitus.

    Oh, and to my knowledge I don't believe any of the snps involved in intelligence, or the capacity for hard work for that matter, have been found to be located on the y chromosome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    The Nordic countries, Ireland and Austria all have relatively small populations, so even though they all have relatively high GDP per capita, that doesn't mean that they have the kinds of large pools of capital necessary to pay for the creation and maintenance of elite educational institutions. And the Nordic countries were poor until the 20th century and Ireland was quite poor until a few decades ago. However, Austria was the head of a large empire until about 100 years ago, so if it never was a world leader in terms of elite universities, we'd have to look at some other factor, such as the catholic versus protestant issue meaning less individualism and perhaps less admiration for learning.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Echetlaeus View Post
    I like the use of the word "foreign", like the Americans are really natives in the place that they live. Take for example yourself, who may believe that you are an American (may be true in papers), but you may be only a second generation migrant, so far away from the fathers who created the U.S.

    As far as the students are concerned. Of course they should help their countries when they will go back. After all education is for that reason, to make our lives better and help our people. Eventually I hope for convergence, and not divergence.

    P.S. Why do you specifically mention MIT and probably other IVY leagues? If they deserve to go there what is the problem? Or you simply want the prerogatives to stay in the U.S.A so that the dominance will continue? Well, eventually this is not going to happen, especially nowadays where information is global. And apart from that, have you ever considered how many international students are doing PhDs compared to the Americans? Just a reminder ...
    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.

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    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.

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