Why are American universities the best in the world?

12, dic, 2016

Isabel Sagenmüller
BY: Isabel Sagenmüller

Why are American universities the best in the world?

Because the best American universities invest about 165,000 dollars per student a year. 

If you analyze the rankings of higher education institutions carried out by the best investigation centers of the world, United States was and will continue being the reference in this area. As an example QS World University Rankings® 2015/16 established that the world´s two top Universities are American: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University.

An investigation held by the SIHC Science Investigation High Council from Spain (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas de España, CSIC) considered the number of published articles on the web, and their impact to classify more than 15,000 universities and investigation centers, finally ranked Stanford, MIT, Berkeley and Harvard accordingly.

There are many reasons for this. First, the best American universities, Harvard, MIT or Princeton invest about 165,000 dollars on each student per year. Oxford and Cambridge don't invest more than 55,000 dollars. Spanish universities hardly reach 11,000 per student. This money comes from registration and private investment.

Money invested on each student helps to produce higher quality lectures, and attracts the best teachers. Most of them with PhD degrees in their specialty, and lots of them supporting big companies, businessmen, CEOs from big industries or directly working in governmental positions. Also, lots of them work academically full time. As a consequence, they establish a highly dedicated academic relationship with their students.    

From the academic point of view, American universities use different teaching methods which help students to develop a wide variety of practical abilities and training. They use an important balance between theory and practice. They study and solve actual cases which provides a working experience from the very beginning.   

Although money is not everything, it is important to highlight that money allows American universities to be high-level academic institutions, with sports and technology facilities, well-equipped libraries which are used as information centers for students.    

To have access to this type of university, and be able to pay for these high expenses, American students go into debt with the State to a huge level far over from the European. This money should be paid back with their first job.  

Despite the previous facts, the United States occupies the first place of preference in the mind of millions of students from all over the world who like to study different academic degrees in a place different from their country of origin. Every year, American universities register an average of 5% of international students coming from more than 90 countries.  

With no doubt, in North America the university period is a lifetime experience as in no other part of the world. The challenge for students is higher due to the expenses, and because the change of life is extreme. Living this metamorphosis is part of a collective culture and from the “land of opportunities”. 

I would love to hear your option as to why are American universities the best in the world? Please leave me a comment below.

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About the author

Isabel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing and Sales from the University FOM Hochschule für Ökonomie und Management (Faculty of Economics and Business). She has over ten years of experience in Marketing, worked in several European countries for international companies and speaks four languages.

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