This week, Time Magazine released their 2017-18 Higher Education World University Rankings. While UC Berkeley typically receives the coveted top spot for #1 Public University in the world, Time Magazine awarded it to UCLA this year—but not for the reasons anyone would think.
“To be honest, we only gave UCLA the #1 public university ranking because we kinda felt bad for the school,” explained Phil Baty, the directorial editor for 2017-18’s global rankings. “Berkeley was the first UC, and gets the top spot so often that at this point UCLA is basically the neglected middle-child of public universities.”
Time Magazine along with Princeton Review, Forbes, US News & World Report, and a number of other sites annually release an probably arbitrary, shallow, and ultimately detrimental comprehensive analysis for ranking national and international higher-education institutions.
“I understand that Berkeley has an extremely high cost of living, as well as crime and homelessness rates, but we normally just rank them #1 anyway,” said Anita Narayan, education managing editor for US News & World Report. “We also tend to be less sympathetic than Time Magazine, so we’re less predisposed to ranking universities to help their self-esteem.”
“I’m so relieved UCLA finally got ranked above UC Berkeley! Students regularly get together in groups of 10 to 20 and cry about how their school is an under-appreciated UC,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block. “But there’s so much more to this university than its position on a magazine’s website.”
Staff and students at UC Berkeley have not been taking the news well.
“That was like, our biggest selling point to conflicted and international students!” sobbed Cal Chancellor Carol T. Christ. “I’m freaking out right now. Hopefully, US News still has us on top. Otherwise, we’re in some deep shit.”
“Who cares about Time Magazine anyway?” asked Cal journalism major, Eddie Snowe-Din. “I get it, UCLA kids were sad that nobody ever ranked their school #1, but most of us are only here because of Berkeley’s ranking anyway. This changes everything. I think I’m going to try and transfer,” he added.
The ranking is a low blow for UC Berkeley, but they can take comfort in the fact it was only Time Magazine trying to throw UCLA a bone.