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March 10, 2011

University Reputation



Photo: Executives from PepsiCo and Yale University gather to celebrate the opening of PepsiCo’s long-term research laboratory in New Haven, Connecticut, where the company will focus on the development of healthier products. The company also announced it will fund a M.D. - Ph.D. fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine.


Reuters Universities

A university’s brand - crucial in helping to attract students, staff and funding - is built on esteem. Times Higher Education’s first World Reputation Rankings reveal how academics view the strength of institutions’ teaching and research.

The results of the first Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings is based on an invitation-only survey of more than 13,000 academics around the world.

The world regards an elite group of six universities as being head and shoulders above the rest. The rankings suggest that the top six - Harvard University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of Cambridge; the University of California, Berkeley; Stanford University and the University of Oxford - form a group of globally recognized “superbrands”.



Here is how John Morgan, a prominent Times Higher Education Writer, explores brand values in higher education:

“In an increasingly competitive higher education marketplace, branding has become big business for universities.

Institutions know that, in a sense, the degrees they confer are worth only as much as their brand. In nations where tuition fees are established, students “buy” a brand that will appeal to the right businesses when it is time to find a job; their choice of university will become part of their own “brand identity”. To attract the right calibre of academics, a university relies on its brand. And when those same academics submit a proposal for research funding or a paper to a leading journal, the brand of their institution may play a role in how their research is judged. The university’s brand becomes part of their own brand as an academic.

The notion of a university as a brand is one that many in higher education are comfortable with. But there are others, who warn that by focusing on branding, universities promote a view of higher education as a commodity rather than as a good in itself.

But if a university is a brand, a key factor determining its strength is reputation in teaching and research (brand and reputation are distinct but related). And the views of academics on university reputation are crucial, for they give an insight into which institutions are best placed to attract top talent, and also influence the views of students and parents.

The results of the first Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings shed light on this increasingly important measure. The reputation ranking is drawn from a survey of more than 13,000 experienced academics worldwide, carried out by polling company Ipsos for data provider Thomson Reuters. The data informed the current Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2010-11, but are now published in isolation for the first time, revealing clear discrepancies between some institutions’ reputations and their overall ranking.

One notable surprise is the strong performance of Japanese institutions, with the University of Tokyo, Kyoto University and Osaka University all performing better in the World Reputation Rankings than they did in the World University Rankings.

Japan has five institutions in the reputation top 100, making it the best performer behind the US and the UK and producing a better score than major higher education nations such as Canada and Australia.

The US remains dominant in reputation, taking 45 of the places in the top 100.

The UK universities generally do better in the reputation rankings compared with their overall rankings.

China’s top-rated institution is Tsinghua University, in 35th place.”

“India, despite having no representative in the top 200 of the World University Rankings, can boast of one in the reputation table — the Indian Institute of Science (in the 91-100 band),” John Morgan points out.

Reputation and brand are not the same thing. But Pat Freeland-Small, chief marketing officer at the University of Melbourne, says the former feeds the latter.

The world elite of universities, he says, do not need to advertise, “but in a way they are advertising. They are constantly communicating the quality of what they do through their people and what they naturally put out…It is their people, their quality of research - notions that come through the academic community - that advertise their international profile.”



The Lioness.

A controversy prevailed among the beasts of the field as to which of the animals deserved the most credit for producing the greatest number of whelps at a birth. They rushed clamorously into the presence of the Lioness and demanded of her the settlement of the dispute. “And you,” they said, “how many sons have you at a birth?’ The Lioness laughed at them, and said: “Why! I have only one; but that one is altogether a thoroughbred Lion.”

The value is in the worth, not in the number.

— Aesop’s Fables. By Aesop (620-564 BC). Translated by George Fyler Townsend. StumbleUpon reddit Facebook Google Plus Tweet This Seed This on Newsvine

Edited & Posted by the Editor | 8:20 AM | Link to this Post

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