09 JUN 2021
The 18th edition of the QS World University Rankings — a globally recognized lineup of 1,300 universities assessed by criteria including academics, faculty ratios and more — has been released, with some notable changes reflected in the order of the world’s best universities. While MIT “celebrates an unprecedented, unbroken decade” in first place, Oxford and Cambridge have moved up to 2nd and 3rd on the list while Harvard has dropped to its lowest-ever rank of 5th. US and UK institutions still dominate the rankings with 9 US unis and 5 UK unis falling into the Top 20.
Crimson’s Take: It’s always interesting to analyze university rankings and see how they change from one year to the next. It’s no surprise to us that many leading US and UK schools continue to be recognized among the world’s best universities for their outstanding academics, resources, faculty and post-grad opportunities — and these rankings are integral to the process of helping our students build their university lists with safety, target and reach schools. We look forward to the year ahead as we continue to work with stand-out students to gain admission to so many of the elite institutions at the top of this list!
Of the 1,968 students accepted to Harvard in its most competitive year yet, 85% accepted their offers to join the university’s Class of 2025 — a new record that surpasses the 84% of admits that matriculated to the Class of 2021. In addition to the highest-ever proportion of admitted students from the latest admissions cycle, 349 admits from the Class of 2024 deferred to join the Class of 2025 (another record-high figure), meaning Havard expects an “unprecedented” 1,962 freshmen to enroll this fall, compared with the 1,420 students in the Class of 2024.
Crimson’s Take: News like this is encouraging for the Crimson community because it indicates that elite universities like Harvard are not resistant to increasing their class sizes as application numbers skyrocket. Countless deserving students around the world would love to secure a place at a world-leading institution, but can be discouraged by what feels like impossible odds of admission. Knowing that this year’s incoming freshman class will consist of nearly 550 more students than last year’s freshman class is heartening for talented students who may have thought an Ivy League education was too far out of reach.
According to the sixth annual Changing Landscape of Online Education (CHLOE) report, US universities are seeking new ways to take advantage of the resources and expertise they gained around online instruction during the pandemic. The report’s senior editor noted “the hurried shift to remote instruction in 2020 appears to have boosted support for online learning” as university investments in EdTech increased more than ever in 2020 and 2021. The report found that 68% of surveyed online learning leaders in higher education believe it is likely that at least some of the online programs that sprouted up during the pandemic will become permanent fixtures of many colleges’ undergraduate offerings.
Crimson’s Take: We know that virtual learning has posed many challenges for students of all ages during the last two school years — so it’s refreshing to learn of some positives that came from those circumstances! At Crimson, we believe that online education can offer more flexibility for students alongside a more personalized learning experience and access to greater academic resources, which is why we launched Crimson Global Academy last year. We’re keen to see what comes of online offerings in the higher education space in the coming years!