• Winona, Missouri


Regarding the Oct. 7 Kyodo article from London titled “Todai slips but reclaims best Asia university title“: Who cares? What is it with the need to establish rankings? Is it for bragging rights? Academic chest-beating? Snob appeal on resumes?

Cal Tech is, by reputation, a fine “nerd” school. Just for a lark, I visited Brown University (ranked in the top 60 internationally) during my summer holiday. BU is a very fine school, an Ivy League school, in Providence, Rhode Island. I visited the campus bookstore and found the most wonderful souvenir, a T-shirt that reads: “HARVARD, because not everyone can get into Brown”.

In a campus survey, BU was ranked the most friendly school in America. That sounds more appealing than any academic ranking. At the end of the day, friends are most important.

My inner snob was pleased to discover that Indiana University was ranked No. 123, on a par with Osaka University. But what in the world happened to Waseda University — ranked 395th out of the 400 “top universities” in the world? That’s right up there with the cow-town University of Wyoming, and Swansea University in Wales. Maybe if Waseda admitted more female students …

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

robert mckinney

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