Making the big transition

Of interest this morning is the Times Higher Education list of the top universities in the world for employability. As usual, only two British universities make it into the top ten:

1. Caltech, United States
2. MIT, United States
4. Cambridge, United Kingdom
5. Stanford University, United States
6. Yale University, United States
7. Oxford, United Kingdom
8. Technical University of Munich, Germany
9. Princeton University, United States
10. University of Tokyo, Japan

Nine British universities appear in the next 90:

16. Imperial College London
23. King’s College London
24. Manchester
32. Edinburgh
45. LSE
48. University College London
84. Bristol
90. Birmingham
93. Nottingham

Approaching 30 more appear in the remaining 900.

What can one say to to all this? Competition for bright students by universities all round he world is more intensive than it’s ever been.  America has overwhelming superiority in numbers.  This doesn’t guarantee similar success in scientific discovery. As has already been pointed out (“Keeping ahead, but for how long?” 14 November) a large fraction of American Nobel prizes in science were won by scientists born in Britain and Germany and became American citizens only in later years.

With that proviso we can say with reasonable confidence that America, Britain and Germany will be among the earliest countries that will make the transition from the present post-industrial era into the new one — as yet unknown.

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