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U.S. News到底如何排名?新航道特约记者华盛顿采

  •   新航道驻华盛顿小记者Avia将会给大家还原我和U.S. News执行主编Anita Narayan的对话全过程。全篇无任何杜撰,均来自实地采访,上图为证!

      Avia:现在中国学生已经是美国大国际学生群体,大概可以占到全部留学生的三分之一。我自己作为留学美国的中国学生,非常清楚U.S. News排名在我们留学过程中的重要作用,无论是学生还是家长,都把U.S. News排名当做是选校的重要参考数据。那这个排名到底是如何算出的呢?U.S. News会考虑多少因素呢?每个因素又占多少比例呢?

      Now Chinese students are the biggest international student group in the U.S., accounting for almost one third of all the international students in the country. As an international student myself, I know that your ranking has been a very important reference for us and our parents. So I am curious about how the ranking is compiled. For example, how many factors are there? what is the weight for each factor?

      Anita:U.S. News排名专注于那些影响学校教学质量的因素。我们通过15个部分衡量学校的教育水平,包括课堂规模、校友资源、师资力量还有其他投入教学的经济资源等等。在这15个因素中,占30%比重的,是该学校学生的大二留校率和毕业率。我们想知道到底有多少大一新生选择在第二年继续留在这所学校,到底有多少学生成功毕业。除此之外,我们还很看重专家的意见,同类大学的权威人士是如何评价该学校的?所有这些都是影响U.S. News排名的重要因素,是它们反映出了学校为学生将来发展的准备工作做得如何,是它们帮助我们评价这所学校的教育质量。

      The US News ranking looks at some measures that examine the academic quality of universities. We're looking at up to 15 factors such like class sizes, alumni giving, faculty members and other financial resources that the school puts in educating its students. Among them, the heaviest weigh, which is 30%, that we give in the methodology is student outcomes. We really want to look at the freshman return rate and the graduation rate. How many students choose to return in the second year and how many students actually graduate? We also look at experts' opinions meaning how do other colleges view those colleges in their same category. We do think that reputation matters. So these factors are extremely important for us to know how good of job is the school doing and how does this school prepare students and support students.

      Avia:那U.S. News是如何从学校那里把这些信息收集起来的呢?在得到这些数据之后,又通过什么方式确认这些数据的真实性呢?

      How are those data collected from the educational institutions? How does U.S. News make sure the source is accurate?

      Anita:不得不说,排名是一个非常庞大的工程。可能大家不知道,每年我们都会用很长时间进行排名的工作,比如2017年的排名将会在九月份公布,而我们的准备工作将会从一月份开始。我们会给所有我们关注的学校发送一份详细的调查卷,在他们填写完毕之后会送回到U.S. News,我们会用固定的算法将数据汇总。至于如何确保数据的准确性,我们有一个不对外公布的数据审核系统,而且这是我们数据组的工作,所以我可能不能详细的介绍。我们的数据组有很多有着三十多年经验的成员,他们会通过实地调查等很多方式确保数据的准确性。除此之外,如果学校提供的数据和之前的记录有很大出入,我们的系统会自动提醒我们核实数据信息。

      Well, I would say it is really an extensive process. I don't think people realize how long it usually takes to do this ranking. So for example, the ranking of 2017 will be published in September and we will start in January. It will be a 9 months' process. We will send a very extensive questionnaire to the universities that we are looking at in the U.S. and ask them to fill out this survey which will take some time. And they will be sent back to U.S. News so we can go through those data based on our methodology. Speaking of the accuracy, we really take as many measures as we can to verify the accuracy. So we actually have an assessment verification process. But I cannot explain it in detail because it doesn' t open to the public and this work belongs to our data team. We have great data collectors and data managers that work with those universities for over 30 years. They will make sure the accuracy of data collected from those universities by investigating themselves on campus and so on. If the data collected this time has a big difference compared with the data we collected before, for example the students number changes from 4,000 to 9,000, our system will remind us to verify this number.

      Avia:现在在中国有一个趋势,留学生及家长们会极大得倚重排名来做出择校决定,因为远在中国的我们没有那么多关于学校的信息,排名这个又简单又定量的数据会非常直观。对于这种情况,您是否可以给中国留学生以及家长一个建议?我们如何更明智得择校?如何才能更好地利用排名?怎样才能看到排名背后的东西呢?

      Now there is a tendency that in China, the students and parents make their school choice only based on ranking. Since we don’t have many resources to know a certain school, a rather simple and quantitative method is easier for us to make decision. What kind of advice would you give to the students and parents in china, in terms of choosing their schools? How should they use the ranking in a smarter way? How can they look deeper into the ranking, and the things behind the ranking?

      Anita:我自己就是一个国际学生,所以我非常理解排名对于我们择校时的重要性。但是有一个适用于所有留学生的建议:我们决不能把排名作为择校的依据,排名仅仅是一个开端。作为U.S. News会给出这样的建议可能让人听起来很惊讶,但是我们提供给学生和家长的只是一个工具。另外,我建议学生和家长更多关注适合自身情况的排名和数据。比如说,除了全美学校排名、文理学校排名等大家熟悉的排名,我们有多达15种学校排名,你一定可以从中找到更适合你的数据。比如我知道中国学生对于本科工程学和商科很感兴趣,我们就有全美工程学院和全美商学院的排名。除此之外,我们还会把一些不属于排名要素的其他数据公布在官网上,比如我们整理出了拥有最多留学生的校园等等的信息。

      I'm an international student myself, so I totally understand the importance of ranking while we nearly have nothing else to look at. But there is an advice not only for Chinese students, but also for all students from overseas, that it is a huge mistake to use ranking as the only factor when you are looking for a college. It should only be your starting point. It may sound surprising because we are U.S. News and we do the ranking. But it is just a tool for our consumers. Other thing I want to mention is that you should look for the right fit. Except for the national universities ranking and liberal arts colleges ranking that many people know about, we actually publish up to 15 lists of ranking. So you can also look at the ranking that relates more and makes sense to you. For example, I know Chinese students are generally more interested in undergraduate engineer and undergraduate business programs. Those are the rankings that we actually have. Beyond that, we also publish the data that we collected from universities which are not in our ranking methodology. For example, we have a list for the universities with most international students. It's not a ranking, but a list we get by compiling our data.

      Avia:既然中国学生在美国留学生群里占这么大比例,U.S. News是否会考虑为中国学生单独整理一些排名呢?比如说中国学生最喜欢的美国大学、中国学生最喜欢的地区、对中国学生未来发展最有利的学校等等。

      Since there are so many Chinese students in the U.S., is there any thought by the U.S. news to compose a ranking dedicated for the Chinese students? for example, their favorite schools, their favorite majors, their favorite states or regions, best schools for future career development, etc.

      Anita:我们的确知道有很多中国学生和家长会关注我们的网站、 查询他们关心的信息。为此,我们在中国设立了资源中心,它会把很多关于申请、留学中介等等的文章翻译成中文方便中国学生和家长阅读。将来我们也很乐意在这方面做更多工作,让我们一起期待未来的发展。

      We do know that there are a lot of Chinese students and parents pay attention to our website and look up the information they need. We actually have a resource center in China for those audiences. It helps us to translate articles about admission process, application agent and so on into Chinese. And we would love to do more in the future and we will see how will it go.

      Avia:我们可以听到有很多对于U.S. News排名的批评声,比如说对于排名的要素,毕业生的工资水平就没有考虑在内。您是怎样看待这些批评声的呢?

      There are some criticisms out there for the U.S. News rankings. For example, in terms of the factors of the ranking, the salary level of students graduated from a certain school is not considered. How would you address those criticisms?

      Anita:我想要强调的是:U.S. News做排名已经超过30年,所以反面意见对我们来说绝不是新鲜事。但是我相信我们正在做的事情是无可非议的。U.S. News关注的是学校的教学质量,所以我们不会过多的关注一些主观因素比如学生在校园里的生活质量、学校的宿舍环境等等。我们确实承认毕业学生的工资水平很重要,但我们不认为这可以显示和比较学校的教学水平。比如比较工程专业毕业生和社会学专业毕业生的工资水平会非常不客观。所以我相信现在我们计算在内的因素是合理的,如果你想要知道学校的教学质量,U.S. News排名将会是你很好的信息资源。

      One thing keeping in mind is that we have been doing this for over 30 years, so criticism is not new for us. But I believe what we are doing is the right way to go. Let me emphasize one thing: academic quality is the one that we look at. So we don't look at subjective factors such like the students' life on campus, whether the school spends lots of money on building fancy dorms. We do realize that the salary level of students is truly important to look at. But we don't think this data is helpful to make comparison. For example, we cannot compare the salary of engineer graduates with that of the students who have a degree of sociology. We all know that they are going to be different. So we are looking at the factors that really matter. If you want to the academic excellence of universities, U.S. News should be a good choice to refer to.

      不知道Anita的回答是否解决了大家的疑问?大家对U.S. News是否有全新的了解?上图是U.S. News的出版杂志,其中《Find The Best Colleges For You》是U.S. News 2016年的大手笔。这本美国大学的数据库到底涵盖了什么?留学生们可以从这些信息中得到什么?我们会在下次节目中为大家详细介绍。


    2019-03-07 19:00

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