Dartmouth buried in new rankings of top universities

by Rebekah Rombom | 11/9/04 6:00am

A new ranking from an influential British publication placed Dartmouth 138th among the world's top 200 universities and last among Ivy League schools by 110 spots.

The Times Higher Education Supplement, which released its 2004 World University Rankings on Friday, ranked Harvard University first and six other American universities, including Yale and Princeton Universities, in the top 10. The University of Pennsylvania, the seventh-ranked Ivy, placed 28th.

The publication ranked the top 200 colleges and universities from across the globe based on scores in a number of separate categories. Peer review received the heaviest weight -- half a given university's total score. To determine the scores in this category, 1,300 academics from 88 different countries were asked to name the top institutions in their respective fields. The University of California at Berkeley placed first in the peer review category, while Harvard was second.

The next most important category, comprising 20 percent of the total score, was the number of paper citations per faculty member. This criterion was meant to gauge the volume of research produced by the faculty at each college or university. The rankings also took into consideration the number of international students who attend the university and the number of international staff members that the institution employs.

While Dartmouth was one spot shy of being included in the list of the top 50 North American universities, it did have the distinction of being the only American institution on the list that is technically a college, not a university. The criteria on which the rankings were based seemed to favor larger institutions, as neither Amherst nor Williams colleges made the top 200.

Martin Ince of the Times Higher Education Supplement noted that a focus on biomedical sciences seemed to propel institutions to higher spots in the rankings. Dartmouth, however, boasts plenty such research at both Dartmouth Medical School and Thayer Engineering School.

Public Affairs spokesman Roland Adams emphasized the prestige implicit in being included in a list of the top 200 universities worldwide. "There are a lot of different ways to measure success and Dartmouth does very well in a great many rankings," he said. "The institution pursues its mission for a particular purpose, which is to provide a certain kind of educational experience, and there are a lot of indicators that it's being successful at that."