Rankings - love them or loathe them - are fascinating insights from the experts into the world of higher education. The decline in the number of high-ranking US universities, the warnings that the UK will go the same way, Tokyo University dropping in the tables, and the National University of Singapore taking the prize in Asia are all major trends and movements. Now, we don’t want to comment on why this might be, or what the future holds: the rankings are compiled from a very broad statistical base including those reflecting research and teaching quality. But our experience of running experiential leadership programmes with four of the top ten, and ten of the top 30 universities in the world, closely matches the majority of their ratings for international outlook; the University of Hong Kong and the National University of Singapore ranking 3rd and 9th respectively.
Our programmes are run in the Magnet Cities of the world, where over 100 nationalities convene to study, with the leading universities who both attract this global talent and have a commitment to curricular and co-curricular education. I see in our university partners an excitement about the possibilities that their diverse, global campuses bring. I can also see that by bringing together students from across the world to learn with and from each other they can help students develop the Cultural Intelligence needed to operate in this smaller, flatter, more complex globalised world. As Shuvo Saha, Director of Google Academy, says “universities can't just produce economists and engineers but need to produce global leaders who can thrive in the world of today”.
As I said, rankings aren't the be all and end all (those who did well and those who did less in the THE rankings may feel differently), but are an amazing insight and indicator. Seeing our university partners rank so high and, very importantly, be recognised for their international outlook is very heartening and I congratulate them all greatly.