Special Reports

Here's Why It Is Difficult To Quantify The Quality Of Colleges


Several media outlets have already shared their rankings of the top universities and colleges in the United States. However, some question whether a school's quality of education can actually be quantifiable.

It was previously reported that University of California - Berkeley is deemed as the best public national university in the United States. University of California - Los Angeles and the University of Virginia both came in second place on the list.

Stanford University is on a roll this year as it topped Reuters' list of the World's Most Innovative Universities. The school has also recently nabbed the top spot in The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education's college rankings list.

Meanwhile, according to The Washington Post, there should be a better way to assess the quality of a certain college or university. It was noted that every college right now claims to have a "unique" style of education to prepare its students for the real world.

However, the publication added that with more and more people earning their bachelor's degree, employers appear to be losing their trust in it. There are companies who have opted to choose certain campuses where workers can utilize tuition benefits instead of just giving them a blank check that they can use anywhere.

Higher education officials are said to be currently discussing another approach that is expected to help students and parents assess the quality of colleges better. This would be an audit on the assertions that colleges claim about their quality.

Brendan LeBlanc, a partner at Ernst & Young in Boston, said that an organization's claim can be audited as long as it has objective, suitable criteria for measurement. This is similar to non-financial audits such as for cybersecurity and sustainability.

"For an audit to work there has to be trust and confidence that the same rules and standards are being applied so that someone can make a judgment," LeBlanc added. "It's providing some credibility to a process."

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