Six colleges dominate in research stature

Six schools — Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, Oxford, MIT, and University of California, Berkeley — have effectively cornered the market on being “the best” in academic research, according to the latest reputation survey from Times Higher Education, the Washington Post reports. Those schools earned twice the reputation score of any other in the 2012 ranking, which is based on how many scholars in various disciplines name a school as the best in that field. The ranking, titled Top Universities by Reputation, compiled surveys from 17,554 academics that asked them to name up to 15 institutions they considered the best in teaching and (separately) research in their field. Reputation surveys are famously controversial; public intellectual Malcolm Gladwell attacked them in a widely cited New Yorker piece. U.S. News, for example, asks college presidents and provosts to rate colleges on their overall academic stature. Several presidents have told me they simply don’t know enough about other colleges to do that…

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