Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 10/05/2012 05:30 | By Channel NewsAsia

Do university rankings matter to students?

Do university rankings matter to students?

Do university rankings matter to students?

SINGAPORE: Two of Singapore’s universities are now among the top 100 universities in the world, according to the latest edition of Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The improved rankings of National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) will further enhance their appeal in attracting students of calibre.

But their presidents say rankings shouldn’t be the only deciding factor.

NTU president, Professor Bertil Andersson, said: "Ranking may be just the first approach. I spent a lot of time talking to parents...I’m out recruiting students as well. When I talk to them, they ask if NTU passes NUS (in ranking). I say that’s not the point. But of course NUS and NTU should try to be ahead internationally to position the country."

NUS president, Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, said the students should look at "what they are interested in, what are the strengths of the university, what kind of programmes the university offers, what are the particular features that distinguish a university from another and how that fits their profile."

Some of the parents and students Channel NewsAsia spoke to said that ranking is important when selecting a university as it gives them the confidence that the institution and the courses provided are recognised not just on a local level but internationally as well.

Hochiu Lin, a mother of two children, said: "When you tell people, ’I’m a graduate of NUS’, they will be ’oh, you are from the top 50 or top 30’. It makes a lot of difference, and I think to a potential employer, it’s very important."

Joyce Xiao Shuang, JC 1 student from Hwa Chong Institution, said: "Ranking represents how trustworthy a university is. If their ranking is very high, that means their programmes have certainly received a certain form of recognition."

However, others feel that other factors also play a part and what matters most are the job prospects of the individual upon graduation.

Leow Yao Yang, Year 6 student from Raffles Institution, said: "There are many factors involved in deciding your university (choice), like passion, finance, and more (importantly), your interest."

In addition to rankings, some students said they look at graduate employment surveys when selecting their universities.

— CNA/ir

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