Why are American universities leading in the rankings in fact
US universities resemble huge scientific corporations with tens of thousands of scientists. Harvard alone has 28 000 employees - almost a third of the total number of research workers in Russia. Why are American universities leading in the rankings and receive financial support from former students, understood Oleg Soloviev, Forbes.
From 40% to 60% of the leading universities in the first hundred of any international education rankings are US universities. AT Times Higher Education list 42 American University, in the Round University Ranking figure is similar. What is the reason for such success? Are students and teachers of Ivy League universities smarter, more purposeful than their European and Asian colleagues?
In Russia, the statement is popular: "The point is in the ratings themselves." The lists supposedly evaluate the Anglo-Saxon education system above the rest accepted in the world, but do not take into account the specifics of the educational systems of the countries of the world. Such an explanation has the right to exist, but it is very conditional. After all, nothing prevents universities of Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea from occupying positions in TOP-50 and competing with Harvard.
Indeed, the world is dominated by a model of a research-type university, where science and education are inextricably linked. But this model is not American or even British, but rather German. The first university of research type was Berlin, founded in 1809, by Wilhelm von Humboldt. A university whose goal is the education of a harmoniously developed personality, a research scientist. With reservations, this model remains to this day.
Let's try to figure out what is the uniqueness of the leading US universities. As an example, take Harvard University - №1 in the world, according to most ratings. What comes to mind when it is mentioned?
These are students of a business school, characters from the film “Social Network”, a dozen graduates who became presidents (the same Barack Obama, for example). In short, Harvard is “cool.” At this point. The power of the brand in full action.
Brand strength is country strength
Undoubtedly, eminent graduates make the university a name. Any one of the universities of the Ivy League can name hundreds of names of politicians, businessmen and famous personalities who have come out of their walls. On the other hand, isn't it possible to say the same about the leading universities of any country in the world? National University of Mexico City or Moscow State University. Lomonosov can boast of pleiads of graduates who make up the national elite.
In many ways, the success of the university is predetermined by a banal geographic location. The factor of the strongest economy in the world and the broadest domestic market has a primary effect.
Suppose we put Harvard in Russia, while maintaining current funding ($ 4,5 billion per year). In ten years - it will be, at best, the 100 th university in the world.
Why? Because the Russian economy simply cannot “digest” such a number of graduates whose ambitions and needs go far beyond the ordinary positions. We simply do not have hundreds of thousands and millions of high-tech jobs with the proper level of pay and prospects.
The main reason for the strength of the brand leading universities in the United States lies in the reputation and influence of the country itself in every sense of the word. Today, due to political circumstances, it is not fashionable to say this, but the fact remains. The US is still the world's No. XXNX economy, if we ignore purchasing power parity (then China is in the first place). Even the Russian-language text for the Russian business publication, which you are currently reading from the screen of a phone or computer, was created in Microsoft Word, and you can read it thanks to the Internet originated in America.
The reputation of the university, in turn, is one of the key factors for evaluating ratings. Its share varies from 20% to 50%. But besides it, the factor of evaluation of the university is scientific activity, where the range is about the same - 25-90%.
Secondary school or science corporation
The concept of “university” (we are talking about leading universities of the countries) in Russia and the United States is not qualitatively comparable. Outwardly, everything is similar - both there and there are students, professors. But the fundamental difference is that in Russia, universities are essentially the second school. The Russian university is primarily a center of education, which is a consequence of the historical separation of education (university) and science (academy of sciences). In recent years, through programs such as National Research Universities or 5-100, the trend is changing. Our universities strive to equally develop science and education, as was the case before the 1925 year (the year the USSR Academy of Sciences was founded).
At the same time, American universities are a huge scientific corporation, a whole academy of sciences numbering tens of thousands of scientists. So in Harvard running 2400 Academic staff (professors and associate professors), all of which issued 2017 24 publications for 000 year, according to data from the international database Scopus. That is, an average of one article per month. It is important to note that these are not just pass-through materials, but the results of serious scientific research that the whole world is looking at. It is obvious that even physically giving such a volume of publications to one person is beyond the power.
The reason for such ultra-high productivity lies in the specific structure of the university: in addition to the professors at Harvard itself, 10 400 employees medical schools and affiliated hospitals and 15 000 masters and graduate students (PhD), who perform the function of research assistants and assistants. It turns out, the actual number of scientists - 28 000! The figure is truly colossal. For comparison: the total number of researchers in Russia is 71 500 people (Rosstat data).
In addition to education and science, the leading universities of the world are centers of entrepreneurship. Universities are physically surrounded by the offices of hundreds of companies, venture capital funds, business incubators, etc. All this gives students countless variations in building their careers. Not just finding a job, but creating it.
So 150 000 companies based graduates in the history of harvard, received $ 2014 trillion in 3,9, and recruited 20,4 million. Have WITH 2015 year indicators - 30 000 companies, $ 1,9 trillion in revenues and 4,6 million jobs.
University is itself an investor
The so-called endowments remain unique, practically nowhere to be repeated in the world. In fact, it is an investment bank owned by the university, from which the current operating expenses of the university are covered. The endowment fund has two sources of funding. The first is alumni donations. Intel founder Gordon Moore made one of the most generous gifts of his alma mater in the history, and in 2001 he donated $ 600 million to California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
The second source is income from asset management. Endowment funds are distributed over hundreds and thousands of assets: from traditional stocks, bonds to land, real estate, etc. Thus, from 30% to 50% of the budget of a private US university is the profit from the management of endowment funds. Harvard expenses on 36% are covered from the endowment, Stanford - on 20%. The record belongs to Princeton University, 48% of which budget is formed from the endowment.
The total endowment volumes of a single university can be a multiple of the annual funding of science and education in Russia. The Harvard Endowment totals $ 37,1 billion, Yale University - $ 27,2 billion, Stanford - $ 24,8 billion. It is easy to calculate that in each case the amounts exceed 1 trillion rubles.
University for life
Why it happens? Why is an American graduate "Donatit" to his university? Apparently, it is a matter of feelings and memories that the university gives to the student. Boring professors, hostels with barracks are unlikely to inspire a student to donate.
The university forms around itself an environment that goes far beyond the paradigm of "the professor teaches, the student learns." Universities liaise with alumni throughout their lives. Universities create such an environment within themselves, which remains in a person almost the brightest band in life. Hence, donations from graduates, sometimes in the hundreds of millions.
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