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Education Ticker: University reputations show huge gap between top and the rest

The best of the web on education from kindergarten to postsecondary, as chosen by Globe and Mail education editor Simona Chiose.

Top six universities far outrank rest of the world

The Times Higher Education Reputation rankings which were released yesterday have received a fair bit of coverage with Canadian universities largely unchanged in their placement. The University of Toronto remained at No. 16, while UBC dropped to No. 31 from No. 25 and ties in that spot with McGill. The true story, however, is indeed as the Times Higher Education itself reports: the distance between the top six and the rest. Harvard's top score, for example, is 100 and No. 6 Stanford is 70.6. But No. 7 Princeton University? It's at 36.2 while U of T's No. 16 comes with a 18.8 ranking, while UBC and McGill are tied at 10.2. The scores are based on "nothing more than subjective judgment" but reflect the collected opinions of senior academics.

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'Hacking' your education: a gamble whose time has come?

"The cost of taking a year to learn for yourself is nothing," says Dale Stephens who left school at 12 and is the founder of UnCollege.org. In contrast, the average student debt in the United States at the end of postsecondary is $27,000 – and in Canada the amount is not much less. In his new book, Hacking Your Education, Stephens argues that the return on investment is better when students educate themselves. No one needs university to find mentors, build networks or learn the skills to become an entrepreneur. After all, businesses argue they need precisely those skills and that institutions are failing to teach them.

Graduate student by day, pop-up chef by night

Apparently the life of a graduate student in Britain allows for a fair bit of leisure. This short survey of students who have found ways to earn money while doing master's or PhD degrees includes a pop-up kitchen serving slow-cooked black beans and peanut-butter stew with lamb, a PR agency for European music festivals and a leadership coach, the last studying for a master's in business psychology.

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About the Author
Postsecondary Education Reporter

Simona Chiose covers postsecondary education for The Globe and Mail. She was previously the paper’s Education Editor, coordinating coverage of all aspects of education, from kindergarten to college and university. She has a PhD in political science from the University of Toronto. More

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