Sometimes we get questions about the world or European ranking of a particular university. That’s why I now want to show you and consolidate you why rankings are usually not as relevant as people think. We work only with the best medical universities in Europe. The thing is that it’s impossible to measure the most critical factors, just some of which are:
- What you’ll actually learn, beyond the grades;
- The university’s diversity;
- Different activities offered (sports, competitions etc.);
- Whether you’d love the city, you study at;
- The qualities of the teachers;
- Your enjoyment of the process.
These are some significant factors that cannot be measured by any statistic. With the current criteria budget plays an enormous role in ranking well. It’s all about how much the school can afford to spend on PR (public relations) – getting featured on magazines, television, websites and so on. It’s almost like a popularity contest, which the smaller universities in Europe cannot afford to take part in, but this doesn’t at all relate to the quality of education.
There is something else to it; there have been several studies that conclude about the importance of personal ability, motivation, ambition and passion. The degree might indeed provide a head-start in some cases, but the individual characteristics of the student are what’s crucial about success.
I’ve told you why university rankings could not be even close to accurate in terms of determining the quality of education. Now I want to tell you what they use to rank the different universities. It’s no wonder why the top hundreds of places are all taken over by UK and US schools.
- Funding offered to students (scholarships and bursaries);
You could expect that for there to be scholarships; the university has to have a huge budget. Budget, however, doesn’t define the quality of education.
- Research citations and papers published;
This is by far the most important criterion according to the agencies creating the rankings. However, a lot of specialists don’t agree with this. We don’t agree with this either because the student has gone to study abroad for this exact reason – to study and become an educated professional medical doctor. There’s going to be plenty of time for research after graduation.
What’s more, conducting research is extremely expensive, so this criterion is also linked to the budget of the university. The British and US universities receive immense financial support, and that’s why they can afford to spend the money on it, and therefore, they rule the top of the tables. On the other hand, the fact that the university conducts researches doesn’t mean that the students will take part in it.
- Academic reputation;
The academic reputation is based on how well-known the university is along with its age.
- The student to faculty staff ratio;
This is a criterion where smaller European medical universities truly shine. This is the case since there are usually not more than 1,000 or 2,000 students, but the number of teachers is almost the same as with a huge university with all sorts of study programs.
- Employer reputation;
Employer reputations are again linked to PR practices. If the university doesn’t invest money and promote them, teachers, they won’t rank. Smaller European medical schools prefer to invest in the quality of education.
- Award winners.
Ranking based on award winners is good but bear in mind that a university with 10,000 students will have a higher chance of having award-winning students than one with 1,000 students.
I hope I’ve answered all of your questions about the rankings of universities and why they’re irrelevant and not a direct representation of the quality of teaching.
Make the right choice today, apply to study medicine or dentistry in Europe today!