This is one of the most fascinating online debates I’ve ever read. As I have a Phd acceptance from a Go8 university and also a Master’s acceptance from an Ivy, I couldn’t be more intrigued.
People cite rankings all the time to substantiate their claim of prestige of a school. Even in Hong Kong, people and the media are obsessed with where our universities stand in the QS/THE/ARWU rankings. People like to point out how a certain, less renowned university is ranked higher than a certain Ivy/big name like Dartmouth or Berkeley so the regional school must be just as good blah, blah, blah.
For every ranking, there comes criticism on the methodology and mechanism. Some focuses more on citation, some on diversity, etc. You can never please everybody. I am, however, very convinced by one of the Australian posters who argues that what makes a school prestigious isn’t the ranking or the number of articles published by its faculty but the kind of graduates they produce.
The truth is what makes the uni to have that ‘prestige’ and and ‘elitism’, is the TYPE OF PEOPLE whom graduated or alumni of the uni. Let’s look at the TYPE OF PEOPLE graduated from the Ivy league had:
Presidents, Nobel Prize Winners, Politicians, famous musicians, humanitarians, athletes and etc. These people are inspirational and influential, that’s why these uni deserve the elitism, that’s why the are prestigious, and people are aspire to attend those unis.
Whichever school I end up choosing, whether its UNSW or Auckland or (very unlikely) Brown, I hope I can become one of the distinguished alumni who build on its existing legacy.