China's college ranking 2011 stirs controversy

16:02, May 06, 2011      

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Zhejiang University top all other Chinese universities as the list of Chinese College Ranking 2011 was released recently by Wu Shulian, a researcher at Guangdong Academy of Management Science, which has caused a controversy in China.

It is the first time for Zhejiang University to rank the first place in Chinese university rankings starting 1993.

Wu Shulian, the leader of this university ranking program, was reported to get involved in a Fee-for-Ranking Scandal, in which universities can pay to be listed before others on the ranking program in order to boost their rankings. Consequently, the creditability of his ranking is thus widely doubted.

Among the comprehensive evaluation of Chinese university ranking 2011, Peking University ranked the second place with a score of 200.34, Tsinghua University, topping in universtiy ranking lists for 14 years in a row, ranked the third place this time with a score of 190.25. The other top seven universities in the list in ascending order as follows: Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Fudan University, Nanjin University, Sun Yat-sen University, Wuhan University, Huang Zhong University of Science and Technology and Sichun University.

Response from university

In Wu Shulian's list, Sichuan University ranked the tenth place while it ranked the twelfth place in the other university ranking list issued by in 2011.

In terms of the ranking, the spokesman of Sichuan University said that they didn't care about the rankings. There are ranking lists every year. A ranking can only represent the evalutaion of a certain agency and is sometimes biased and not entirety scientific. These rankings are for parents'reference only.

Doubts: whether hidden rules are existed in the ranking?

Althouth the methodology of this ranking is quite similar to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, as any university ranking, this ranking is also continuously suffered from numerous criticisms.

The public's doubts mainly focus on the evaluating indicator of the ranking as well as whether hidden rules are existed in the ranking.

As for this, Wu Shulian explained that the ranking has completely clear and open indicators and data sources as well as the result can be repeatedly tested, which will ensure that not any hidden rules are existed in the past, now and in the future.

Wu added, his university ranking list is the only ranking list that make original datas known to the public and disclose compilation process to the public. He adopted a large number of datas issued by education units. Any agency or person can repeatedly test the result.

As far as whether the evaluating indicators can reflect universities' strength are concerned, Wu repled in an e-mail to Chengdu Evening Post that due to the awkward position of the evaluation for Chinese universities, between inperfect evaluation but clear and repeatable indicator system and accurate evaluation but unrepeatable indicator system, he has to choose the former.

By Ye Xin, People's Daily Online
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