Harvard took the top ranking in the seventh annual Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), which was published this week by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, offering a comparison of over 1,000 schools worldwide.
What is interesting is that the Chinese groups apparently made its study without bias. None of the ARWU’s top 200 schools was in China.
Fernando M. Reimers, a professor of international education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, said “The ranking began as a way to measure the quality of higher education in China.”
According to Reimers, China’s efforts to improve education are part of the country’s greater push to allow more people to benefit from the country’s economic progress.
Reimers said that, despite Harvard’s high spot in the ranking, there was much for America to learn from China’s education system, where schools, for instance, have a greater focus on reaching out to the public.
The Harvard Crimson reported that Reimers also said China is learning from American schools. “People in China have valued education for a long time,” said Reimers. “But their schools are more geared to passing the college entrance exam. They look to U.S. Schools and research universities because we promote students thinking independently and creatively.”