09 September 2010

What makes for a good university - not high tuition fees apparently

A recently released ranking of the world's universities by QS University Rankings announced that Cambridge University had overtaken Harvard as the world's top university. The QS rankings are based on quality of academic research, graduate employment rates, student-to-faculty ratios and international make-up of the student body and faculty.

As interesting as the comparison of the merits of the two institutions is a comparison of their fees. Tuition fees at Cambridge are the same as for all undergraduates at European Union universities: $4,126 for all courses. By comparison, the fees at Harvard are $34,918. In other words, a Cambridge student attends a better university than Harvard at a little over a tenth the cost.

What does this mean to Canadians? Well, if nothing else it suggests that higher fees don't result in better institutions, a rather important point in the fee debate.

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