The worst students, the best universities December 4, 2007Posted by dorigo in mathematics, news, physics, science.
A flaming title, but let me explain. Italy was recently placed at the 35th place in a ranking of countries by the level of scientific knowledge of high school students. A list led by Finland, with several eastern countries figuring very well, and Italy scoring quite unlike other european countries. Disappointing, to use an euphemism.
On the other hand, today I read very conforting news, only at first sight in contradiction with the former datum: as far scientific studies are concerned, italian universities figure very high in a ranking of excellence compiled by the Centrefor Higher Education Development (CHE) in Gutersloh. In mathematics, the University of Rome-“Tor Vergata” is among the institutes “of excellence”, a very short list. Even better is the ranking of Physics institutes: here, among 24 chosen in the study, four are italian: and among them, of course, Padova (with Firenze, Pisa, and Rome-“La Sapienza”).
The parameters which were used to rank institutes were the number of scientific publications in the period 1997-2004, the number of citations, the presence of researchers among the most cited in Europe, and the use of European funds from the “Marie Curie” program, a program to favor the mobility of researchers. Apparently, my presence in Padova did not affect negatively the outcome 😉