[photopress:Jilin_University_which_lost_a_lot_of_money.jpg,full,alignright]Last week we reported that universities around the world had been ranked by the number of papers which had been published. China did not come out of this too well but the view could be held that universities are there to teach students, not write abstruse papers for publication in narrowly targeted journals.
Now Nanfang Metropolis News weighs in against the idea — but from a totally different point of view.
An edited and somewhat rewritten excerpt:
A list rating universities around the world was recently released by a research center affiliated with Wuhan University. Nine of the 10 best universities were in the US. Peking University won the top position for a Chinese university, ranked 192.
Jilin University (seen above) ranks 382 on the list, making it one of the eight Chinese universities among the top 400 world universities. But this university shocked the country by announcing its RMB3 billion(US$384.6 million) debt last month. Universities have been encouraged by officials or localities to expand quickly as a manifestation of local administrative performance. As a result, universities have to rely on the administration for more resources to support their expansion. This produces problems.
To ensure the sound growth of higher education, the key issues should be academic freedom, the pursuit of a humanist spirit and the search for truth through scientific research. These concerns are not likely to be reflected in simple rankings.
This seems a very fair summary of the situation.