Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Universities

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Categories nominated for deletion[edit]

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Bob247 (talkcontribs) 21:03, 9 October 2012‎ (UTC)

RfC: University rankings in lede[edit]

There is a consensus for university rankings to be mentioned in the lede on university articles as the individual editor sees fit. If there is a dispute between two or more editors as to whether or not they see fit in any single article, it can be resolved through consensus or, if necessary, RfC, within the Talk page of that specific article. At the present time there is no consensus to impose a blanket style mandate. LavaBaron (talk) 14:39, 8 November 2016 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Which, if any, university rankings should be mentioned in the lede?

Should there be 1) no rankings in lede, 2) international rankings only in lede, 3) rankings which can be sourced as widely followed in lede, 4) or do as the editor sees fit (which is the status quo)? What about subject rankings?

Banedon (talk) 01:14, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

Background on the RfC question. Possibly not neutral.

See also WP:Avoid academic boosterism. There is a tendency for university articles to portray the university in question favourably. One of the ways bias can manifest itself is by selectively choice of which rankings to mention in the lede. Things to consider:

  1. As far as I can tell, currently the status quo is that whichever rankings the editors of that university see as relevant, they can include.
  2. There are three widely followed international rankings, the THE, QS and ARWU, but there are also lots of others. See College and university rankings. However some of them can be sourced as "widely followed", e.g. [1]
  3. Some but not all countries have national rankings, see e.g. Rankings of universities in the United Kingdom, Rankings of universities in Canada.
  4. Some universities do well on international rankings but poorly on national ones (e.g. University of Manchester. Others do well on national rankings but poorly on international ones (e.g. Durham University). See also e.g. Rankings_of_universities_in_the_United_Kingdom#Disparity_with_global_rankings.
  5. Some universities do poorly on some rankings, but strongly in others, e.g. National University of Singapore.
  6. Some universities do much better on certain subject rankings than others, e.g. Carnegie Mellon University specializes in computer science.


To me, number 2 - international rankings only - can be dismissed as making no sense. International rankings, of necessity, use a much smaller set of data than reputable national rankings, and are therefore likely to be less informative and more prone to biases. They are also not available for all institutions. National rankings are also more likely to be useful to a reader trying to chose a university – very few such searches are going to be global. This seems a complete non-starter.
Number 1 - omitting them altogether - has its attractions, but rankings are part of university life, and putting significant ones up front makes them easily accessible to the reader.
Number 3 - putting in all significant rankings - is another possible solution, but some pages with large orders may want to omit the rankings, or mention them descriptively rather than giving the precise numbers (see, e.g., UCL)
Number 4 is my favoured option. This should not lead to a complete free-for-all, as long as the normal rules of Wikipedia and guidelines against boosterism, etc., are followed. NPOV requires contrary opinions from reputable sources to be given, for instance, which should prevent most boosterism. Further guidelines might be discussed as to what counts as boosterism, particularly with regards to including national vs international rankings.
My take on such guidelines would be:
  • If rankings are given or described, significant national rankings (if they exist) should always be included.
  • If a university is positioned as an international institute, significant international rankings should be included (I.e ARWU, THE, QS at the time of writing) if national rankings are (thus allowing them to be omitted for universities where they're irrelevant). Essentially all universities are national, so (if they exist) national rankings should always be given if international rankings are given. If a university is positioned as an international institute but is not included in international rankings, this should be mentioned if rankings are given (e.g. Sunderland, with over 25% international students).
  • Faculty/subject rankings should only be given for specialist institutions. Giving a subject ranking just because the university has done well in it that year is boosterism; giving the rankings in agriculture for the Royal Agricultural University is not.
  • Rankings that stand as a significant achievement might justify their presence in the lede on those grounds, e.g. Coventry becoming the first post-1992 university to break into the top 20 of a national ranking could be mentioned without having to put all rankings in the lede. A quick test for this would be whether the achievement continues to be significant once the next year's rankings are out - if yes, then it is justified as part of the institutions history, rather than as a ranking.
Robminchin (talk) 05:32, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
1) no rankings in lede.
"International rankings" are not really international. In France, only the ARWU is well known. So selecting a few can only introduce a cultural bias (and academic boosterism...).
XIIIfromTOKYO (talk) 09:06, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
That's a good point. I was assuming that which international rankings were included was well agreed on. If the major international rankings are not actually international, then possibly they should be left out entirely. I don't think the same applies to national ranking, where the culture is much more uniform, so including these (in places where they exist) should be less problematic.
In the UK, it's clearly the QS and THE that are popular, and ISTR a story saying that in India it was ARWU and THE. If each country uses a subset of the same few international rankings, then using these might be okay. Determining this sounds tricky though! Robminchin (talk) 14:19, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
With regards to international rankings being less likely to be available for all institutions, I actually left out the obvious "national rankings only" in the RfC question because I thought the reverse was obviously true! Many countries don't have their own national rankings (such as National University of Singapore, mentioned in the background section of the RfC) while the THE, QS and ARWU cover much more. At some level, I guess, we are all biased. Banedon (talk) 05:44, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
It's true that national rankings are not available for all countries, but where they do exist they are normally pretty much comprehensive, while the global rankings are far from comprehensive. A country not having a national ranking applies equally to all universities in that country, while the global rankings only sample the "top" universities in each country (for some values of top), leading to far more spotty coverage.
It's quite possible that universities will only be listed in some of the global rankings, for instance, and it's impossible to know whether this is because they were ranked outside of the top N on the other rankings or they didn't think the rankings were important enough to return the forms. A recent example of this, local to me, can be seen at [2] - the University of Puerto Rico is not ranked in the THE table (although it is on the QS table), but nobody knows if this is because it is outside the top 980 or if it simply didn't return the forms. This is part of a more general problem THE has with Latin America, as an analysis on the QS website says: "Universities in Latin America have a much stronger presence in the QS rankings, partly due to the fact that many seem to have opted out of providing the data required for inclusion in the Times Higher Education ranking. As shown above, this means many leading Latin American universities featured in the QS list do not appear at all in THE – including Argentina’s Universidad de Buenos Aires, which this year reached the highest position ever achieved by a Latin American institution in the QS World University Rankings."
Showing only comprehensive national rankings, in contrast, would seldom have such problems. If a country doesn't have them, then there is nothing to show, so for somewhere like NUS it would then make sense to show the international rankings. Overall, this demonstrates that having a single rule (except for no rankings at all) that works for everywhere is close to impossible, which is why I support option (4) "do as the editor sees fit". Robminchin (talk) 22:40, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
I think that Robminchin summarises the arguments well. On the whole I favour (4) "do as the editor sees fit" with the usual caveat that boosterism should be resisted. I think that we should be careful about trying to make all university articles fit a very tightly defined pattern when they are in reality a very variable group of organisations. Jonathan A Jones (talk) 15:29, 30 September 2016 (UTC)
Any opinion then on subject rankings? If a university does poorly on most rankings but gets ranked (relatively) highly in a specific subject, would you say that qualifies for inclusion in the lede? Banedon (talk) 05:44, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
  • I would generally be in favor of a combination of option 1 and option 4. Rankings in uni articles inevitably devolve into boosterism and undue weight and WP does not have the manpower to ensure this does not happen in every single uni article. However, I am swayed by arguments that there may be special cases where the university's ranking is due to a significant achievement, and is described as such in reliable sources, and so am against a categorical prohibition. I would support a strong presumption against including rankings in the lede that can only be overcome by a significant number of reliable sources discussing the university's ranking in an appropriate context (i.e., listicles should not count). James (talk/contribs) 22:31, 4 October 2016 (UTC)
It seems to me that if WP doesn't have enough editors (which is true), then this would tend towards maintaining the status quo rather than having this discussion again on almost every university talk page when people try to remove the rankings. Boosterism is non-NPOV, and thus something that can be spotted and argued against by any editor, not just the few of us involved in the discussion here.Robminchin (talk) 00:09, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Keeping tuition will make students value their education and appreciate school more. Privileged students who receive financial support from their parents have little to no appreciation for the position they're in. Privileged students who receive financial support from their parents have little to no appreciation for the position they're in and often times they will fail if they do not quickly realize that there are students out there who are more "hungrier" to achieve more. Tuition covers the cost of paying qualified teachers, resources, and retain more academic independence(less reliant on government funding) and if the budget cuts are made the employment goes down and so does the quality of the school. Colleges should be academically independent so the agenda of producing graduates matches with the level of competitiveness in the real world. 8.41.197.251 (talk) 04:25, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

  • I would support having no rankings in the leading paragraph. Rankings change on a regular basis, as do the organizations creating the rankings, which may not agree. Including all that detail would make the section too long. A summary of more neutral information such as location, areas of specialty, private or public, etc. is more suitable at the beginning of the article "Notable" rankings (which are written about in independent, reliable sources not connected with either the universities or the ranking organizations) could always be included later in the article. —Anne Delong (talk) 17:11, 22 October 2016 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Nomination of List of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States from BYU for deletion[edit]

A discussion is taking place as to whether the article List of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States from BYU is suitable for inclusion in Wikipedia according to Wikipedia's policies and guidelines or whether it should be deleted.

The article will be discussed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States from BYU (2nd nomination) until a consensus is reached, and anyone is welcome to contribute to the discussion. The nomination will explain the policies and guidelines which are of concern. The discussion focuses on high-quality evidence and our policies and guidelines.

Users may edit the article during the discussion, including to improve the article to address concerns raised in the discussion. However, do not remove the article-for-deletion notice from the top of the article. Prince-Archbishop of Wikipedia (talk) 21:44, 11 November 2016 (UTC)

Isles International University[edit]

Not for the first time, the article on the organization called "Isles International University" has recently undergone bowdlerization. It would help if a few more disinterested editors could keep an eye on it. -- Hoary (talk) 14:30, 16 November 2016 (UTC)

The Los Angeles Film School[edit]

There's an old lawsuit that was dismissed in the The Los Angeles Film School entry that I'd like editors here to take a look at. I've gone into more detail about why I think it should be removed in a message here.

I'm posting as a representative of Full Sail University, a sister-school to The Los Angeles Film School. My financial conflict of interest prevents me from making any edits myself. Any suggestions and feedback about the lawsuit material are welcome. --Tylergarner (talk) 23:58, 22 November 2016 (UTC)

Higher education in France outside universities[edit]

There is a request for comment about Sciences Po that might interest the whole project. Because it seems a lot of French higher education institutions outside universities are adverstisements. I changed the SP page (from this to this) but users argue from the École Polytechnique page, that needs to be cleaned too. --Launebee (talk) 16:51, 26 November 2016 (UTC)

You should also check Panthéon-Assas University. The French article was turned into a big piece of advertisement, and the same personn is working on the English article. XIIIfromTOKYO (talk) 20:12, 26 November 2016 (UTC)