A Former Student Remembers Paul Rabinow

There was this one time, during my senior year at UC Berkeley, I showed up to Anthropology of the Contemporary about a half-hour early. It was held in one of the Anthro department conference rooms — the larger one, where the AUA meetings were held, at the intersection of the hall near the waiting room and the bathrooms. The door was usually locked, but that day it stood open a crack. I remember lingering outside for a moment, listening to hear if there was a meeting or some event going on inside. But it was silent, and so I let my guard down and pushed it open. There, alone, at the head of the room sat Paul Rabinow. You might think it shouldn’t have been a surprise — it was his class, after all (even if he hardly got around to handing out the syllabus). But facing him there in the low-lit room, alone, waiting, still took me aback. And that was before I realized I was about to have to try to impress the unimpressible for the next half-hour, before class would begin.

I didn’t know Paul Rabinow — or “Rainbow”, as he sometimes referred to himself, having must have beared the student mispronunciations for decades — very well, in a personal sense (outside school, i.e.). But today I read, on Berkeley’s student paper The Daily Californian, that he has died. However, I will say that I certainly remember him, that I learned a lot from him, and that I think of him often. Thus, I felt compelled to write something of what I remember of him, as a former undergrad student of his.

I don’t remember every detail of our pre-class conversation that day I showed up early. But I do remember a couple things, including the general topic: Wittgenstein. That semester I happened to also be taking Barry Stroud’s course on Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations (Stroud’s final offering of that course, as it would turn out). So Wittgenstein was an acute topic for me, and besides, I was also majoring in philosophy and — like all undergrad philosophy majors — I liked to bring up the fact that I was doing so as often as possible. I don’t know how I introduced the topic, but I remember that it came up quite easily, and didn’t need to be forced at all. Rainbow listened, attentive, genuinely interested — perhaps not so much in my thoughts about Wittgenstein, but in me as a student, in me as someone who was also genuinely interested (he gave me the impression he must have listened to all of his students in this way). After I was finished saying whatever it was I said, Rainbow told me his own thoughts about Wittgenstein. I wish I could remember what those were, altogether, but what I remember is his final gist: that Wittgenstein had some interesting things to say, but that he ultimately “…left me cold” (his words). This was particularly interesting to me, because I felt I sort of understood what he meant, but I wasn’t sure why I understood — as I didn’t share the feeling.

But, what was it that didn’t leave Rainbow cold? These are the things I most remember from class, and the things I often pass on to other people, and which I always attribute to Rainbow.

One of these things was an early assignment we had that semester: to read Bertolt Brecht’s Writing the Truth, Five Difficulties. Written in 1935, amid a gathering fascism, this paper sets out — in stark terms — what it takes to really write something, with conviction. When I first read this, I found it very frustrating. I kept asking myself, “But what does Brecht mean by ‘the truth’?” My contribution to the class discussion on this (Rainbow always held the classes seminar-style) were probably quite meek, mostly because I didn’t really have much insight into what was going on in the paper, since I’d set myself the trouble of “not being able to understand what Brecht means by ‘the truth'”. But nowadays — and during the latter part of Trump’s reign — this was a go-to, must-read, gotta-send-you sort of piece that I would reference often. It might’ve taken me a while to get around to understanding it, and I had ample assistance from the material circumstances of the world which made it impossible to avoid. It’s a good thing we had Rainbow, or else it would have been possible to avoid.

Another of these things was Shakespeare’s Coriolanus. Rainbow used to call us “barbarians”. He used to say that we didn’t even know what that word meant (it turned out he was using the word literally, as the ancient Greeks did, to refer to those who weren’t versed in Greek language and custom). It seemed to bring him a glint of joy to watch us struggle, in our “barbarian” way, to string together connections between the seemingly disparate things he decided to talk about on any given day. Coriolanus was a disparate thing. I wasn’t taken with Coriolanus (or Shakespeare — little did Rainbow know I’d written a screed in high school triumphantly declaring Shakespeare as definitively boring), but I did notice that I found it impressive in some way that we were focusing on Coriolanus — of all Shakespeare plays. And then I thought, for the first time, as we watched a YouTube video of a performance of the scene with the rotted fens, that there was really some pretty good writing going on. It was for that spark of interest that I, the disinterested, went out and bought a copy of Coriolanus the semester afterward. It’s a good thing we had Rainbow, or else Shakespeare would be boring yet.

The last of these things I’ll share here is Max Weber’s Science as a Vocation. Weber was the kind of theorist that I really didn’t care to hear about at that time in my academic life. By then I had disavowed all the anthropology I’d ever studied — it was the final class I needed for the major, after all. I’d shifted to philosophy to get away from just that kind of continental thing. Here, again, I found myself with the sort of frustrations I’d had with Brecht’s work earlier in the course. What does Weber mean? What’s the point of this? Here, too, as with Brecht, my own contributions to the class discussion were limited. What interest could all this comparison of American and German universities really have for me? I kept thinking about the “conceptual grounds” of the piece. I kept analyzing it in abstract terms: how does someone hold to conducting research knowing they probably won’t be recognized or remembered for it? How do they go on knowing they’ll be surpassed eventually; when it won’t even matter in the long run? e.g. I always got that it was supposed to be about something practical, and I always identified with having — perhaps not science — but academics as a vocation, but I would only come to really get the drift later on. My academic plans back then resemble in almost no way my academic present. The course that took me from 2017 Berkeley to 2021 Helsinki was foreseen in no way, but it forced on me what it means when academics is your vocation — no longer a conceptual thing to-be-understood, but an unavoidable, practical, material circumstance. This was what Weber was really talking about, I thought to myself, and this is how Rainbow wanted to prepare us. I’ve thought back to this orientation point many times since that class, and that it’s a good thing we had Rainbow.

Now I think I have a better idea why I understood what Rainbow meant when he said Wittgenstein left him cold, despite my feeling differently: it’s because Rainbow made me, and us, pay genuine attention, in the way that he did. I couldn’t help but understand, in other words. This is what it was to have Rainbow as a teacher. His teaching method was to impart emulationnot so that we’d end up being little Rainbows, but so that we would learn the feel then, even as barbarian undergrads, what it is to write the truth, what it is to string together the connections, what it is to bear our vocations — and to do these things despite the myriad, disagreeing, conflicting, disparate difficulties they impose, both from within and without. In that way, to give us the experience to help us become ourselves. And that’s really what the best teachers are supposed to do. I am truly thankful to have had the opportunity to be a student of Professor Paul Rabinow, and to have been imparted with these thoughts because of him — whether I really “understand” what Brecht et al. meant or not. The world will have less truth in it now, so it’s all the more important — especially for those of us privileged enough to have had a class with him — to remember Rainbow and the truths he wrote and lived. I certainly do.

Now I understand why Rainbow thought the idea of handing out a syllabus was so laughable. Or as he once remarked to the class, shooting me a sly grin, “Do you think Wittgenstein had to worry about the syllabus?”

Steven N. McGannon

HELSINKI, Finland

*This article has been edited several times since I published it. In some cases, there were minor errors, in others, I wanted to make a point clearer, and so I added in or changed a sentence here and there.

Permalink to this article: https://snmcgannon.com/2021/04/12/remembering-paul-rabinow/

Ranking of Public Universities Worldwide, 2020-21

University of California, Berkeley.
RankInstitutionARWUQSTHEUSNWRAverage World Rank
1University of California, Berkeley 🇺🇸5307411.5
2ETH Zürich 🇨🇭206142616.5
3University of California, Los Angeles 🇺🇸1336151319.25
4University of Michigan 🇺🇸2221221720.5
5University of Toronto 🇨🇦 2325181720.75
6Tsinghua University 🇨🇳 2915202823
7University of Washington 🇺🇸 167229831.25
8University of California, San Diego 🇺🇸1854332131.5
9University of Melbourne 🇦🇺 3541312533
10Peking University 🇨🇳 4923235136.5
11University of British Columbia 🇨🇦 3845343137
12University of Tokyo 🇯🇵 2624367339.75
13University of Wisconsin – Madison 🇺🇸 3265494146.75
14=LMU Munich 🇩🇪 5163324648
14=University of Sydney 🇦🇺 7440512748
16University of Texas at Austin 🇺🇸 4171443848.5
17=Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) 🇨🇭8314435849.5
17=University of Queensland 🇦🇺5446623649.5
19McGill University 🇨🇦 7831405150
20=Heidelberg University 🇩🇪 5764425454.25
20=University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 🇺🇸 3095563654.25
22=Australian National University 🇦🇺6731596455.25
22=Technical University of Munich 🇩🇪5450417655.25
24University of Copenhagen 🇩🇰 3376843456.75
25University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 🇺🇸 4582486058.75
26University of New South Wales 🇦🇺 7444675159
27Kyoto University 🇯🇵 34385412562.75
28=Monash University 🇦🇺8555644863
28=Sorbonne University 🇫🇷3983874363
30University of Zürich 🇨🇭5669736265
31University of Amsterdam 🇳🇱 10161664067
32Georgia Institute of Technology 🇺🇸 10180386671.25
33=Chinese University of Hong Kong 🇭🇰 10143569573.75
33=University of Hong Kong 🇭🇰15122398373.75
35Utrecht University 🇳🇱 52121755475.5
36University of California, Santa Barbara 🇺🇸 49152685681.25
37Seoul National University 🇰🇷 101376012981.75
38Shanghai Jiao Tong University 🇨🇳 634710012283
39University of California, Davis 🇺🇸 91112646683.25
40Ohio State University 🇺🇸 101108804583.5
41Purdue University 🇺🇸 79109945383.75
42Zhejiang University 🇨🇳 58539413585
43University of Minnesota 🇺🇸 40177854787.25
44University of Maryland, College Park 🇺🇸 53152906088.75
45University of Helsinki 🇫🇮74104988690.5
46=Fudan University 🇨🇳 100347016091
46=Leiden University 🇳🇱80128708691
48University of Groningen 🇳🇱 69128809292.25
49University of Science and Technology of China 🇨🇳73938712494.25
50Ghent University 🇧🇪 661351038597.25

This is a ranking of the top 50 public universities in the world ranked relative to each other by average world rank for the year 2020-2021. A “public university” is a university which is (1) publicly funded and (2) publicly owned. Thus, for example, no U.K. universities are eligible for this list.

The ranking was created by using metadata sourced from the four prominent rankings of world universities (each ranking released in 2020): Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), Times Higher Education (THE), and U.S. News & World Report (USNWR).

Rank was checked on each list for every public university in the world ranked on each of the lists. Then, for each university, all its rank placements were averaged across lists to create the new list of average ranking for each university. The universities were then ranked according to their average ranking. The university with the highest average is thus ranked 1st, the one with the second highest average 2nd, and so on. 

Finally, the results were tabled, as shown above. The leftmost column shows the final relative placement (relative placement based on average rank, i.e.), the “institution” column shows the institution ranked along with the flag of the country in which it is located, the next four rightward columns (ARWU, QS, THE, USNWR) show the rank for each given institution in each of those selected world rankings, and the rightmost column (“Average World Rank”) averages the four ranking lists’ rank placement for each university. 

Some observations —

  • All of the top 50 public universities in the world rank on average within the top 100 universities — public or private — in the world.
  • There are 14 countries represented on the list.
  • The 1st most represented region is North America, with 19 universities.
  • The 2nd most represented region is Europe, with 14 universities.
  • The 3rd most represented region is Asia, with 11 universities.
  • The 4th most represented region is Oceania, with 6 universities.
  • The 1st most represented country overall is the U.S., with 16 universities.
  • The 2nd most represented countries overall are Australia and China, each with 6 universities.
  • The 3rd most represented country overall is the Netherlands, with 4 universities.
  • The next most represented countries are in order as follows: Canada and Switzerland (each with 3), Hong Kong and Japan (each with 2), and Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, and South Korea (each with 1).
  • The most represented countries within the top 10 are the U.S. (with 5) and China (with 2).
  • The list which best predicts the summed average is USNWR.
  • The list which worst predicts the summed average is QS.

If anything appears to be in error, please email me at tuulifunctional@snmcgannon.com.

Permalink to this article: https://snmcgannon.com/2021/03/15/ranking-of-public-universities-worldwide-2020-21/

This article’s header photograph depicting UC Berkeley is under the Creative Commons license.

List of Top 100 Universities by Highest Rank, 2020-21

This is a list of the highest ranking achieved for every university ranked in the top 100 in the world on any of the four prominent world university rankings (ARWU, QS, THE, and USNWR, i.e.). Thus, so long as a university appears on any one of the four rankings, then it appears on this list — and it appears at whichever spot it ranked highest on any one or more of those lists. You can think of this list in the following way: for each given university, its position on this list represents the highest opinion someone holds of it.

Notes —

  • In total, 154 universities representing 27 countries are ranked within the top 100 in the world between all four lists.
  • There are 16 top 10 universities, representing 3 countries which are (in order): the US (with 11 — 3 of which are Californian; 2 of which are Massachusettsan), the UK (with 4 — all of which are English), and Switzerland (with 1).
  • There are 30 top 20 universities, representing 7 countries which are (in order): the US (with 18 — 6 of which are Californian), the UK (with 5 — 4 of which are English; 1 of which is Scottish), Singapore and Switzerland (each with 2), and Canada, China, and France (each with 1).
  • There are 78 top 50 universities, representing 17 countries which are (in order): the US (with 34 – 7 of which are Californian), the UK (with 8 — 7 of which are English; 1 of which is Scottish), Australia (with 6), China and Hong Kong (each with 4), Canada and Germany (each with 3), France, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Switzerland (each with 2), and Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and Sweden (each with 1).
  • The United States is the 1st most represented country, with 51 universities represented (~33%).
  • The United Kingdom is the 2nd most represented country, with 18 universities (15 of which are English; 3 of which are Scottish) represented (~12%).
  • The Netherlands is the 3rd most represented country, with 9 universities represented (~6%).
  • The countries placing 4th – 8th in representation are (in order): Australia (with 8), Germany (with 7), China and Japan (each with 6), Canada, Hong Kong, and Sweden (each with 5).
  • There are 32 listed universities outside the western world (~21%).
  • Universities represent 5 continents.

And finally, some thoughts. It is interesting to note that 15 out of 18 ranked UK universities are highest ranked by QS — a UK-based ranking. This means, if nothing stronger, that QS has the highest opinion of British universities of any of the four prominent rankings. True — someone could object and say that whichever ranking truly has the highest opinion of British universities lists the greatest number of British universities, or has the highest average ranking of British universities, etc. But I think what captures the spirit of these lists is highest rank, and when you talk about highest rank, and look up a university to check its rank, the fact is, when its a UK university, QS will tell you that university is ranked more highly than any other ranking would tell you in ranks a large majority of the time. I might also endorse this stronger claim: QS has a bias for British universities. But this would require a more in-depth look at how it ranks universities in other countries, and also how other rankings rank British universities compared to other countries, etc., and I haven’t looked into it that deeply or in a sufficiently comparative way to fully endorse that claim. But nonetheless, this result is certainly suggestive, and looking for other indicators even superficially shows that a good number of the British universities ranked within the top 100 by QS don’t appear at all in other top 100s. This is definitely something that someone can and should look at further (and perhaps they have).

Along the same lines, 23 out of 27 East and Southeast Asian universities are highest ranked by QS (along with one additional such university ranked equally by THE). Thus, we can again conclude (as above) that QS has the highest opinion of universities in those regions. It’s still not strong enough for bias — but as with the above observation, this is suggestive and someone might be inclined to take a look.

Meanwhile, out of 47 U.S. universities which are highest ranked by only one ranking (i.e., for which there is no shared opinion about its highest placement), only 5 are highest ranked by QS. Meanwhile, ARWU accounts for 18 such rankings, USNWR 15, and THE 9. Thus, we can safely conclude that QS has the lowest opinion of U.S. universities of the four rankings. THE — at 9 — is closer to QS than to USNWR, but just barely. It’s clear that the UK rankings (QS and THE) have a lower opinion of U.S. universities than the Chinese (ARWU) and U.S. (USNWR) rankings.

To sum up:

  • QS has the highest opinion of British and East and Southeast Asian universities, and the lowest opinion of U.S. universities.
  • USNWR has the highest opinion of Australian universities.
  • And the strongest conclusion: British rankings (QS, THE) have a lower opinion of U.S. universities than Chinese and U.S. rankings (ARWU, USNWR) do.

Below you can view the list. If you should find something here is in error, please contact me at tuulifunctional@snmcgannon.com.

RankInstitution
1Harvard University 🇺🇸 (ARWU, USNWR)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 🇺🇸 (QS)
University of Oxford 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (THE)
2Stanford University 🇺🇸 (ARWU, QS, THE)
3University of Cambridge 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (ARWU)
4California Institute of Technology 🇺🇸 (QS)
University of California, Berkeley 🇺🇸 (USNWR)
5
6Columbia University 🇺🇸 (USNWR)
ETH Zürich 🇨🇭(QS)
Princeton University 🇺🇸 (ARWU)
7
8Imperial College London 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (QS)
University of Washington 🇺🇸 (USNWR)
Yale University 🇺🇸 (THE)
9University of Chicago 🇺🇸 (QS)
10Johns Hopkins University 🇺🇸 (USNWR)
University College London 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (QS)
11National University of Singapore 🇸🇬 (QS)
12Cornell University 🇺🇸 (ARWU)
13Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 🇸🇬 (QS)
University of California, Los Angeles 🇺🇸 (ARWU, USNWR)
University of Pennsylvania 🇺🇸 (THE)
14Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne 🇨🇭(QS)
University of Paris-Saclay 🇫🇷 (ARWU)
15Tsinghua University 🇨🇳 (QS)
University of California, San Fransisco 🇺🇸 (USNWR)
16
17University of Michigan, Ann-Arbor 🇺🇸 (USNWR)
University of Toronto 🇨🇦 (USNWR)
18University of California, San Diego 🇺🇸 (ARWU)
19
20Duke University 🇺🇸 (THE)
University of Edinburgh 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 (QS)
21
22University of Hong Kong 🇭🇰 (QS)
23Peking University 🇨🇳 (QS, THE)
Washington University in St. Louis 🇺🇸 (ARWU)
24Northwestern University 🇺🇸 (THE, USNWR)
University of Tokyo 🇯🇵 (QS)
25University of Melbourne 🇦🇺 (USNWR)
26New York University 🇺🇸 (THE)
27Hong Kong University of Science and Technology 🇭🇰 (QS)
London School of Economics 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (THE)
University of Manchester 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (QS)
University of Sydney 🇦🇺 (USNWR)
28Carnegie Mellon University 🇺🇸 (THE)
29
30University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 🇺🇸 (ARWU)
31Australian National University 🇦🇺 (QS)
King’s College London 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (QS)
McGill University 🇨🇦 (QS)
University of British Columbia 🇨🇦 (USNWR)
32LMU Munich 🇩🇪 (THE)
University of Wisconsin-Madison 🇺🇸 (ARWU)
33University of Copenhagen 🇩🇰 (ARWU)
34Fudan University 🇨🇳 (QS)
Kyoto University 🇯🇵 (ARWU)
35
36Karolinska Institute 🇸🇪 (THE)
Paris Sciences et Lettres University 🇫🇷 (ARWU)
University of Queensland 🇦🇺 (USNWR)
37Seoul National University 🇰🇷 (QS)
38Georgia Institute of Technology 🇺🇸 (THE)
University of Texas at Austin 🇺🇸 (USNWR)
39Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology 🇰🇷 (QS)
Sorbonne University 🇫🇷 (ARWU)
40University of Amsterdam 🇳🇱 (USNWR)
University of Minnesota 🇺🇸 (ARWU)
41Technical University of Munich 🇩🇪 (THE)
42Heidelberg University 🇩🇪 (THE)
King Abdulaziz University 🇸🇦 (USNWR)
43Chinese University of Hong Kong 🇭🇰 (QS)
Rockefeller University 🇺🇸 (ARWU)
University of Pittsburgh 🇺🇸 (USNWR)
44University of Colorado at Boulder 🇺🇸 (ARWU)
University of New South Wales 🇦🇺 (QS)
45Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven) 🇧🇪 (THE)
Ohio State University 🇺🇸 (USNWR)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 🇺🇸 (ARWU)
46
47Shanghai Jiao Tong University 🇨🇳 (QS)
48City University of Hong Kong 🇭🇰 (QS)
Monash University 🇦🇺 (USNWR)
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas 🇺🇸 (ARWU)
49University of California, Santa Barbara 🇺🇸 (ARWU)
50
51
52Utrecht University 🇳🇱 (ARWU)
53University of Maryland, College Park 🇺🇸 (ARWU)
University of Southern California 🇺🇸 (THE)
Zhejiang University 🇨🇳 (QS)
54Boston University 🇺🇸 (THE)
55
56Tokyo Institute of Technology 🇯🇵 (QS)
University of Zürich 🇨🇭 (ARWU)
57Delft University of Technology 🇳🇱 (QS)
58University of Bristol 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (QS)
59University of Geneva 🇨🇭 (ARWU)
University of Malaya 🇲🇾 (QS)
60Brown University 🇺🇸 (QS)
University of Oslo 🇳🇴 (ARWU)
61École Polytechnique 🇫🇷 (QS)
62Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 🇺🇸 (USNWR)
University of Warwick 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (QS)
Vanderbilt University 🇺🇸 (ARWU)
Wageningen University and Research 🇳🇱 (THE)
63
64University of California, Davis 🇺🇸 (THE)
65University of Paris 🇫🇷 (ARWU)
66Ghent University 🇧🇪 (ARWU)
National Taiwan University 🇹🇼 (QS)
University of Buenos Aires 🇦🇷 (QS)
67University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center 🇺🇸 (ARWU)
68Erasmus University Rotterdam 🇳🇱 (USNWR)
69Aarhus University 🇩🇰 (ARWU)
Korea University 🇰🇷 (QS)
McMaster University 🇨🇦 (THE)
Stockholm University 🇸🇪 (ARWU)
University of California, Irvine 🇺🇸 (ARWU)
University of Groningen 🇳🇱 (ARWU)
70Leiden University 🇳🇱 (THE)
71Emory University 🇺🇸 (USNWR)
72Osaka University 🇯🇵 (QS)
73University of Adelaide 🇦🇺 (USNWR)
University of Montreal 🇨🇦 (THE)
University of Science and Technology of China 🇨🇳 (ARWU)
74Lomonosov Moscow State University 🇷🇺 (QS)
University of Helsinki 🇫🇮 (ARWU)
75Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin 🇩🇪 (THE)
Hong Kong Polytechnic University 🇭🇰 (QS)
Pennsylvania State University 🇺🇸 (USNWR)
76
77Pohang University of Science and Technology 🇰🇷 (QS)
University of Glasgow 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 (QS)
Uppsala University 🇸🇪 (ARWU)
78University of Tübingen 🇳🇱 (THE)
79Purdue University 🇺🇸 (ARWU)
Tohoku University 🇯🇵 (QS)
University of Western Australia 🇦🇺 (USNWR)
80Humboldt University of Berlin 🇩🇪 (THE)
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 🇳🇱 (USNWR)
81University of Auckland 🇳🇿 (QS)
University of California, Santa Cruz 🇺🇸 (USNWR)
82
83Nagoya University 🇯🇵 (ARWU)
University of Freiburg 🇩🇪 (THE)
84
85Yonsei University 🇰🇷 (QS)
86Durham University 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (QS)
87University of Birmingham 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (QS)
University of Bonn 🇩🇪 (ARWU)
88University of Basel 🇨🇭 (ARWU)
University of Florida 🇺🇸 (ARWU)
Sungkyunkwan University 🇰🇷 (QS)
89Rice University 🇺🇸 (QS)
90University of Barcelona 🇪🇸 (USNWR)
University of Southampton 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (QS)
91University of Leeds 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (QS)
92
93University of Sheffield 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (QS)
Weizmann Institute of Science 🇮🇱 (ARWU)
94
95
96University of St. Andrews 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 (QS)
97Lund University 🇸🇪 (QS)
University of Arizona 🇺🇸 (USNWR)
98KTH Royal Institute of Technology 🇸🇪 (QS)
99Université Grenoble Alpes 🇫🇷 (ARWU)
University of Nottingham 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (QS)
100Michigan State University 🇺🇸 (USNWR)
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México 🇲🇽 (QS)
Table 1.

Permalink: https://snmcgannon.com/2021/02/24/list-of-top-100-universities-by-highest-rank-2020-21/

Ranking of Public Universities in the United States, 2020-21

This is a ranking of the top 20 public universities in the United States ranked relative to each other by average world rank for the year 2020-2021. 

The ranking was created by using metadata sourced from the four prominent rankings of world universities (each ranking released in 2020): Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), Times Higher Education (THE), and U.S. News & World Report (USNWR).

Rank was checked on each list for every public university in the United States ranked on all the lists. Then for each university all its rank placements were averaged across lists to create the new list of average ranking for each university. The universities were then ranked according to their average ranking. The university with the highest average is thus ranked 1st, the one with the second highest average 2nd, and so on. 

Finally, the results were tabled, and are shown below (Table 1.). The leftmost column shows the final relative placement (relative placement based on average rank, i.e.), the “institution” column shows the institution ranked, the next four rightward columns (ARWU, QS, THE, USNWR) show the rank for each given institution in each of those selected world rankings, and the rightmost column (“Average World Rank”) averages the four ranking lists’ rank placement for each university.

Some observations —

  • The original ranking which best predicts the summed average is THE.
  • The original ranking which most poorly predicts the summed average is QS.
  • The worst prediction is QS’s UC Irvine at 210 — 96.25 places greater than its 113.75 average.
  • 30% of the top 20 public universities in the United States are California universities.
  • The two states which have the highest percentage of top 20 public universities in the United States (at 2 universities each; i.e., 10% each) after California are Michigan (Michigan, Michigan State) and Pennsylvania (Penn State, Pittsburgh).
  • All but 3 universities of the top 20 public universities in the United States average in the top 100 universities — public or private — in the world.

If anything appears to be in error, please email me at tuulifunctional@snmcgannon.com.

Ranking of Public Universities in the United States, 2020-21

RankInstitutionARWUQSTHEUSNWRAverage World Rank
1Berkeley 5307411.5
2UCLA 1336151319.25
3Michigan 2221221720.5
4University of Washington 167229831.25
5UC San Diego 1854332131.5
6Wisconsin – Madison 3265494146.75
7Texas at Austin 4171443848.5
8North Carolina at Chapel Hill 3095563654.25
9Illinois at Urbana-Champaign4582486058.75
10Georgia Tech10180386671.25
11UC Santa Barbara 49152685681.25
12UC Davis 91112646683.25
13Ohio State 101108804583.5
14Minnesota40177854787.25
15Maryland, College Park53152906088.75
16Penn State 1011011147597.75
17Purdue791099411499
18Pittsburgh 9615613343107
19UC Irvine 692109878113.75
20Michigan State 101157105100115.75
Table 1.

Permalink to this article: https://snmcgannon.com/2021/02/12/ranking-of-public-universities-in-the-united-states-2020-21/

*The cover image used in this article (depicting UC Berkeley) is under the Creative Commons license. All efforts were made to give appropriate credit. If someone determines authorship, this information will be updated accordingly. The image was cropped slightly for this header. Link to license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Ranking of Universities in the United States, 2020-21

This is a ranking of the top 20 universities in the United States ranked relative to each other by average world rank for the year 2020-2021.

The ranking was created by using metadata sourced from the four prominent rankings of world universities (each ranking released in 2020): Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), Times Higher Education (THE), and U.S. News & World Report (USNWR).

Rank was checked on each list for every university in the United States ranked on all the lists. Then for each university all its rank placements were averaged across lists to create the new list of average ranking for each university. The universities were then ranked according to their average ranking. The university with the highest average is thus ranked 1st, the one with the second highest average 2nd, and so on. 

Finally, the results were tabled, and are shown below (Figure 1). The leftmost column shows the final relative placement (relative placement based on average rank, i.e.), the “institution” column shows the institution ranked, the next four rightward columns (ARWU, QS, THE, USNWR) show the rank for each given institution in each of those selected world rankings, and the rightmost column (“Average World Rank”) averages the four ranking lists’ rank placement for each university. A “=” next to a rank indicates a tied position.

Some observations —

  • The original ranking which best predicts the summed average is THE.
  • The original ranking which most poorly predicts the summed average is QS.
  • The worst prediction is QS’s University of Washington at 72 — approximately 41 places away from its average of 31.25.
  • The most agreed upon rank is Stanford, with ARWU, QS, and THE all ranking it 2nd.
  • 20% of the top 20 universities in the U.S. are California universities (Stanford, Caltech, Berkeley, UCLA, and UC San Diego).

If anything appears to be in error, please email me at tuulifunctional@snmcgannon.com.

Ranking of Universities in the United States, 2020-21

RankInstitutionARWUQSTHEUSNWRAverage World Rank
1Harvard13312
2Stanford22232.25
3MIT41523
4Caltech84475.75
5Princeton6129119.5
6Chicago109101511
7Berkeley5307411.5
8Yale111781111.75
9Columbia71917612.25
10=UPenn1916131415.5
10=Johns Hopkins1525121015.5
12Cornell1218192217.75
13UCLA1336151319.25
14Michigan2221221720.5
15Northwestern3029242426.75
16Duke2742202328
17NYU2735262929.25
18University of Washington167229831.25
19UC San Diego1854332131.5
20UW-Madison3265494146.75
Figure 1.

Permalink to this article: https://snmcgannon.com/2021/02/11/ranking-of-universities-in-the-united-states-2020-21/

*The US flag image used in this article is under the Creative Commons license.