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prasad's avatar

What are renowned universities famous for?

Asked by prasad (3826 points ) October 3rd, 2012

I am asking this question in general and to satiate my curiosity that has arisen after I read about QS world university rankings. Then, to make my point clear, I know Harvard University, for example, and if we consider Harvard university, then what is it famous for? I heard much about it, but I am not very sure why it is so famous and prestigious. Your opinions?

I ask you to name any university that you know and write briefly why it is considered good or best. Yes, I am aware of university rankings according to specific areas.

Then, I would like to know about following universities: Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, University of California (at Berkley and at Los Angeles).

You are free to add any university from the world that you think is good or best or prestigious, etc. and tell me why do you hold your very opinion? Your thoughts are appreciated.

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14 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Research and publishing that comes out of the universities. Also, if they have very high standards for accepting students. Probably the success of the students after graduation might count for something also. And, if employers seek out students from a program in the university. So, I guess industries also help decide which schools are best, which schools are preparing students with the skills and knowledge needed to meet job demands and requirements. I think there are third parties that evaluate particular programs as well. I think my business college is now 14th in the country for public universities, but I don’t know where my overall university stands, I don’t remember where I read that, and who decided we were 14.

For me campus life matters too. Dorm living, associations, access to the arts, organizations, food, etc. But, not sure if they factor in to the rankings you speak of.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Cornell was infamous for it’s gorges.

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Um, I think it is more than that. LOL.

janbb's avatar

Most renowned universities are renowned for their research and the prestige of their faculty members, not necessarily the quality of their teaching.

gailcalled's avatar

(Harvard is certainly not known either for the quality of its food or its undergrad. housing.)

Here, for starters, are the admission stats for Harvard’s freshman class;

http://www.parchment.com/c/college/college-544-Harvard-University.html

Here are the number of graduate schools http://www.harvard.edu/admissions-aid#grad

Here is its endowment(the largest in the country):

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2012/09/26/harvard-endowment-dips-slightly-billion-european-losses-offset-investment-gains/OWLuXKNanvZU0ZEjheTLAL/story.html

Grads who are heads of state
Grads who are Nobel laureates
Grads who have won Pulitzer prizes
Some notable graduates

JLeslie's avatar

@gailcalled That was a personal note about the campus life, I was not saying it is what helps a university get on the top 10 list. I guess I was not clear enough when I said “For me.”

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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JLeslie Okay, Cornell also had awesome food. We could go to the Hotel Management School and eat there too.

JLeslie's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe :) My school is number two for Hospitality behind Cornell. We have pretty good food in the cafeterias even. And, we are an Ag school, so the ice cream was made from the milk of our cows, fresh on campus.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JLeslie Here’s a funny. Cornell had gone to a haylage system in their farm when I was there. It caused an odor that got into the milk. They spent two years getting rid of it.

prasad's avatar

Thanks for your posts and opinions.

From academics point of view, I think, Harvard University is famous for its business programs (MBA), for its Law School and medical school. Stanford and MIT top when it comes to technology. Cambridge for maths. University of California is good almost for all it has to offer. Please correct me if I am wrong.

gailcalled's avatar

^^^ You are being too narrow and too specific. This is a question that is hard to answer in a few pithy sentences.

Cal Tech and MIT are famous for technology because that is who they are. Often, it depends on who is in the faculty. Brown University, for example, has an illustrious planetary geology department at present…investigating the surface of Mars.

U. Cal has many branches; the one that is the most competitive and hence, possibly the most prestigious, is UC Berkeley.

Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs is the gold standard.

“Woodrow Wilson School graduates are leaders in their respective fields, from international relations to development, from politics to economics. School alumni include former U.S. Secretaries of State, Defense, and Treasury; Senators and Representatives; foreign ministers; ambassadors; diplomats; politicians; and senior officials in government and other aspects of public life.”

http://wws.princeton.edu

Gotta rush off to have a doctor inject artificial hydraulic fluid (Sinvisc) in my knee, speaking of specialities.

JLeslie's avatar

If we look more specifically at particular degrees that narrows things a bit. You named some examples, and @gailcalled some others. There are a lot of examples around the world

The Wharton School at Univ. of Penn is pretty renown for Business studies.

John Hopkins for Medicine.

I think some of the universities in Texas have very good rocket science type degrees, since NASA is there.

My school, Michigan State, is not consider a top school, but has some top programs. I mentioned Hospitality being number two, and the Packaging Engineering it is considered number one in the US, unless the ranking changed recently.

prasad's avatar

@gailcalled and @JLeslie Thank you. Those were the things I was interested in. I do not get to hear these things around here; I appreciate your responses.

@gailcalled Hope your knee will be all right soon.

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