A new parameter for university rankings?

It is the number of billionaires among the university alumni! Yes, no one is talking about millionaires any more and the ranking exercise has so far been applied only to Chinese universities.

Peking University, Tsinghua University and Zhejiang University took the top three spots in the ranking with 79, 70 and 66 billionaire alumni respectively. Shanghai’s Fudan University was in fourth place with 46 billionaires.

This is based on domestic and overseas lists of the richest people between 1999 and 2010. The ranking analyzed the educational background of nearly 2,500 of China’s billionaires (in Yuan and not in dollars!)

The ranking was as controversial as any other ranking.

Universities excel by nurturing scientists, writers and educators instead of billionaires or high-ranking officials,” said Yu Yanluo in an online post.

Xiong Bingqi, deputy director of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, said: “The report provides an angle to evaluate universities because alumni’s success reflects a university’s educational quality.”

However, he questioned whether billionaires had gained their success because of their education or through their own efforts.

Good question! It should be interesting to know if this criterium will be introduced into next year’s Times Higher Education’s ranking of the world’s top universities.  We might then be surprised with the outcome.

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