Is TIME’s new university ranking system the first step in a higher-ed revolution?
A recent eCampus News story revealed that when deciding which university to attend, students may be more influenced by what people say on social media than national publication rankings such as U.S. News & World Report.
In response to this change in student search, TIME has released a controversial way of selecting universities by ranking schools based on the prominence of their most distinguished graduates on the online encyclopedia Wikipedia.
TIME explores all living people that list at least one alma mater in the U.S. They factor in the number of words on the page, the internal links to other Wikipedia pages, external links to other sites, and the number of additional Wikipedia categories it belongs to.
The more prominent the person, the more words they’ll have on the page and the more relationships they’ll have with other people and subject areas. To discourage users from manipulating the system, TIME says that it will rerun the alma mater counts daily and check every new edition by hand.
(Next page: Why TIME’s emphasis on social media is so controversial )