As schools, not football teams.
But hell, it's the season, and so with the college football polls coming out weekly, here's the 2011 results from the US News & World Report rankings for colleges and universities, both national and international. Some surprising changes just like the football ones!
Top Ten 2011, US And World.
For the US for 2011, the Top Ten Schools are:
(Hold on a sec, this is gonna look like football stuff after all, where the Big Ten has 11 teams and next year will have 12, because there's 11 schools in the Top Ten, but that's because if there's a tie, which there was for #5, #7 and a three-way for #9, each school takes a place, they don't count as one place with a tie for it, so for example there is no #6 but there are two #5s)
1-Harvard, 2-Princeton, 3-Yale, 4-Columbia, 5-Stanford, 5-U Penn, 7-Cal Tech, 7-MIT, 9-Dartmouth, 9-Duke, 9-U Chicago.
Now, USNWR also publishes world rankings, a Top 400 list. Here's the 2011 Top Ten from that:
1-Cambridge, 2-Harvard, 3-Yale, 4-University College London, 5-MIT, 6-Oxford, 7-Imperial College London, 8-U Chicago, 9-Cal Tech, 10-Princeton.
Notice something? Wrt US schools, if you take the US schools in order from the world rankings, it ain't the same order as the US rankings! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Look at the US rankings. Princeton is #2, but taking the US schools in their order from the world rankings, it falls behind several US schools it outranks in the US rankings. So, just for fun, if we take the world rankings, then just take the US schools from it in order, here's THAT Top Ten for the US:
1-Harvard, 2-Yale, 3-MIT, 4-U Chicago, 5-Cal Tech, 6-Princeton, 7-Columbia, 8-U Penn, 9-Stanford, 10- Duke.
I mean Judas H Priest at commencement, look at MIT. How do you rank in a two way tie for #7 nationally but rank #5 internationally, with the school you tied with nationally for #7 (Cal Tech) at #9 internationally, and the school that outranked you at #2 nationally (Princeton) trails you at #10 internationally, and three schools that outranked you nationally don't even place in the top ten internationally (Columbia, Stanford, U Penn) but you did?
As the great American hero Jesse James used to say, now ain't that the dingest dangest thing?
The solution? Go to Harvard, man, then you're just Number One end of story no matter how you slice it. Plus you are mystically, cosmically and metaphysically connected to the current #1 worldwide, Cambridge, Harvard being in Cambridge, Mass! Which is where MIT is too, right across the Charles River from Boston, Mass, which is just outside Requiem, Mass.
OK I'm jacking around now but I'm a damn Doctor philosophiae so I get to do that about unibloodyversities.
Some Notes On The 2011 Ranking.
Speaking of which, when I first did this school ranking thing in 2009, it sparked a whole deal with me, which I ain't going to recap here because it has since become a post all of its own, published annually in the Past Elder Blogoral Calendar on 25 February, founding day of the University of Iowa, my alma mater, as "Readin, Writin, and Absolute Multitude", an extended essay on education and the history and development thereof -- which will also explain why I said Absolute Multitude rather than Rithmetic -- so watch for that.
But here a couple of quick notes re the 2011 rankings. The oldest university, in the modern sense of an institution rather than a single teacher granting a degree, in the world, and which gave us the word "university", is the University of Bologna (as in Italy, not full of) founded in 1088, and the old gal is STILL kicking ass, coming in at #176 internationally for 2011.
You know what? All of the rest of the original universities in the modern sense still in continuous operation are doing damn well for themselves too! Rock on!
The University of Paris, probably the second founded modern university, around 1160, was disbanded by the French Revolution (nice going, guys) in 1789. There is a University of Paris now, but it is connected to the real University of Paris only in that it occupies some of its former buildings. The current one only dates from 1970: Napoleon' established an academy in 1808 to replace the old University of Paris, which became a university in 1890, and was shut down by student riots in 1968 then the French government reorganised and reopened it in 1970 as 13 different schools which last I knew are being reorganised again. Some of those schools are ranked, but this is not the same as the University of Paris; even the word "Sorbonne" just comes from some of the buildings.
The University of Oxford is third oldest, dating from no later than 1096, and she's STILL among the top in the world, currently #6. Attendance really took off in 1167, when King Henry II forbade English students from going to the University of Paris.
The University of Montpellier is fourth, dating from 1131, formally founded by a papal bull in 1289 (Quia sapentia by Nicholas IV) but was shut down by the French Revolution in 1793 (nice going again guys). Some of its faculties reopened starting in 1810, and the current one also dates from 1970 when it was opened as three separate universities. Montpellier 2 is #286 worldwide for 2011.
The University of Salamanca, in Leon, now part of Spain, is fifth, began operations in 1134 but was chartered by the king in 1218, and fizzled but was opened again by the next king in 1243. It still operates to-day, and is still a fine school, if not what it was centuries ago.
The Commune of Modena is sixth, founded in 1175 by a professor at Bologna who got pissed and founded his own school (OK his name was Pillio of Medicina). It fizzled out by 1338, succeeded by 3 non degree granting institutions which made it to about 1590, then about 1680 the current University of Modena and Reggio Emilia was founded.
Last is Cambridge, founded 1209 by Oxford scholars who were outraged that city officials in Oxford had executed two scholars for raping and murdering locals. Talk about "town and gown" tension, Judas H. They got pissed, left, and formed their own school, and King Henry III gave it the right of ius non trahi extra, only the university disciplines its members. That's some kind of academic freedom! Whatever that, Cambridge is #1 in the world for 2011, and Cambridge people have won more Nobel Prizes than any other school in the world, 88 as of 4 October 2010 when Robert G Edwards won the prize for physiology and medicine.
A Little More About Cambridge #1 and Harvard #2.
Cambridge is also the alma mater of one of my three Lutheran heroes, Robert Barnes, D. Div. 1523, part of a circle at the White Horse Inn known as "the Germans" from their discussion of the works coming from Germany of Martin Luther, and who was a guest of Dr Luther at his home while on the lam from England as the crown chose a different path in Anglicanism.
Not only that, but about 100 years later, in Cambridge, as well as its area -- which is East Anglia, which is where my ancestors are from so you know it's all good -- discontent with Anglicanism and the state's Church of England continued, leading to the Puritan movement of reform, which in turn led to thousands leaving East Anglia for the "new world", in particular Massachusetts Bay Colony and what would become "New England".
That is why, for example, the county Boston is in is named Suffolk, the South Folk of East Anglia, and Cambridge MA was named for Cambridge. The Colony founded "New College" in 1636, and in 1639 it was renamed Harvard College after John Harvard, a Cambridge grad and local Puritan pastor, died the year before with no children and left half his estate and his library of about 400 books to the school.
So while I may have been jacking around about the mystical, cosmic and metaphysical connexion to Cambridge (and a Requiem Mass of course is a funeral mass) it's jacking around about stuff that is real, as is pretty much all jacking around here at Past Elder.
Harvard, not to mention the whole damn area, soon lost its Puritan background though, with the first non-clergy president in 1708, a Unitarian takeover in 1805, and the presidency of Charles W Eliot (1869-1909). While usually seen as the key figure in the so-called secularisation of American education, his ideas were not actually secular but rooted in the Unitarianism of William Ellery Channing, whose Federal Street Church relocated as the Arlington Street Church in 1861 and remains both at the front of and typical of liberalism both theological and political, for example being the site of the first legalised same-sex marriage in the US on 17 May 2004.
But I digress.
Anyway, all of the original modern universities still exist to-day in some fashion, some indirectly with successor institutions, and the three that directly still exist (Bologna, Oxford, Cambridge) STILL make the top 400 internationally, two of them in the Top Ten, Oxford #5 and Cambridge #1, and another Top Tener, Harvard #2, directly related to Cambridge which in turn came from Oxford!
And guess what, arguably the oldest school in the world in continuous existence is Nanjing University in China, which for about a century now is organised as a modern university but was originally founded in 258, and guess further what, STILL makes the top cut for the 2011 list coming in at #177! Pretty damn impressive I'd say.
And I gotta tell ya, my alma mater, University of Iowa, is in there too, #188 on the 2011 list, not too shabby for a relative newcomer only organised 25 February 1847 in what had just become a state only the year before! Also pretty damn impressive I'd say.
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