Globally known as a prestigious university, NYU ranked 29th on the 2013 Times Higher Education list of top universities by reputation, up from its 34th place spot last year.
A spin-off of the annual World University Rankings, the ranking listed the top 100 schools and was determined by an invitation-only survey sent out to different scholars in their respective fields. Although the survey is based on subjective opinions, respondents with an average of 17 years in higher education were asked to name up to 15 schools based on a provided questionaire. In response to the survey, which was carried out last March and April and distributed in 10 languages, they received 16,639 replies from 144 countries.
The responses came from scholars in a variety of disciplines: 22.1 percent came from the social sciences, 21.3 percent from engineering and technology, 18 percent from the physical sciences and 10.5 percent from arts and humanities. Thirty-three percent hailed from North America, 17 percent from Western Europe, 12 percent from East Asia, 10 percent from Australia and Oceania, 6 percent from Eastern Europe, 5 percent from South America and 5 percent from the Middle East.
The ranking is meant to classify universities based on factors other than academics. Reputation, THE says, can be just as important when determining the “best” schools.
“Reputation is subjective, nebulous and hard to pin down, but it matters deeply in a highly competitive global marketplace,”said THE representative Fran Langdon, senior account executive at Van Communications. “An institution’s prestige is both a sign of its success, in the fields of teaching and research, and a crucial driver of its future success,” she said.
“Reputation can be lost very quickly, and old higher education powers can not rest on their laurels,” she said.
According to Langdon, the respondents may appreciate global efforts on the part of the universities, although there is no specific survey question dedicated to a global outlook.
NYU spokesperson Philip Lentz attributes NYU’s rank increase to the university’s continued efforts to expand as a global institute. NYU currently operates 14 sites on six continents, including degree-granting campuses in New York and Abu Dhabi.
“The university generally views rankings skeptically — universities are so different, meaningfully ranking them seems a profound challenge,” said Lentz. “However, like the admissions [results] we recently announced, NYU’s movement in the Times Higher Education rankings probably does reflect the upward trajectory of our reputation and the prominence we are enjoying from the creation of our global network.”
Despite NYU’s rise in rankings, it still does not compare to the top five colleges on the list. Harvard University in first place received 100 percent for their overall score, Massachusetts Institute of Technology had 87.6 and NYU had 10.8.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, March 5 print edition. Tatiana Baez is university editor. Email her at email@example.com.
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