University Rankings and the ChatGPT – Two Answers

One of the two answers was written by Dr. György Fábri PhD, the editor-in-chief of our site, and the other by chatGPT. How can you decide which one is which?? And which do you agree with?

Can replace ChatGPT the university rankings?

No, chatbots like ChatGPT cannot replace university rankings. University rankings are usually compiled by independent organizations using various criteria such as academic reputation, research output, student satisfaction, and employability of graduates. They are a form of evaluation and comparison of universities based on a set of specific criteria.

On the other hand, ChatGPT is an AI-powered language model that can generate human-like text based on the input it receives. It can answer questions and provide information, but it does not have the capability to evaluate or rank universities. The information it provides is limited to what it has been trained on, and it can sometimes be inaccurate or outdated.

In conclusion, while ChatGPT can be a useful tool for obtaining information about universities, it should not be relied upon as a source of information for making decisions about university rankings or choosing a university.

Can chatGPT provide more and correct information about universities for laypeople than the university rankings?

Yes, it can provide you with more information about universities that is not solely based on university rankings. University rankings can be a useful starting point, but they are limited in the information they provide and can sometimes oversimplify complex aspects of a university.

Here are some other important factors to consider when evaluating universities:

Academic programs and research opportunities: Look into the specific academic programs and research opportunities offered by a university. Consider if they align with your interests and career goals.

Faculty: Consider the credentials, experience, and reputation of the university’s faculty. This can have a significant impact on the quality of the education you receive.

Student life and resources: Think about the resources available to students, including extracurricular activities, support services, and student organizations.

Location: Consider the location of the university and what it has to offer in terms of cultural attractions, job opportunities, and quality of life.

Affordability and financial aid: Assess the overall cost of attending the university and what financial aid and scholarships may be available.

Graduation rates and job prospects: Look into the university’s graduation rates and the job prospects for graduates in your field of study.

These are just a few of the many factors to consider when evaluating universities. By taking a holistic approach and considering multiple sources of information, you can gain a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of different universities and make an informed decision about where to attend.

How can use university rankings the chatGPT

As a language model, chatGPT can use university rankings in a number of ways to assist users with information and answer questions. Here are a few ways in which university rankings can be used:

Comparing universities: University rankings can be a useful tool for comparing universities based on specific criteria such as academic reputation, research output, and student satisfaction.

Providing context: Rankings can provide a general sense of where a university stands in comparison to others, which can be useful when considering multiple universities.

Identifying top universities: Rankings can help identify universities that are consistently ranked highly across multiple categories. This can be useful for individuals who are looking for highly regarded universities in a specific field of study.

Informing decisions: Rankings can be used as a starting point for individuals who are trying to decide which universities to apply to. They can help narrow down the list of universities and provide a general sense of which schools are worth considering.

However, it is important to remember that university rankings should not be the sole basis for evaluating a university. They can provide a general sense of a university’s reputation, but they do not take into account factors such as personal fit, location, and cost. It’s important to use university rankings in conjunction with other sources of information, such as personal visits, campus resources, and academic programs, to make an informed decision.

Can chatGPT measure the academic world?

The academic world is “abuzz” with chatGPT.
Most of the comments revolve around the „cheating” or, to put it more mildly, the impact on some aspects of student work. In addition to the general concerns, many also point out that the using of AI does not change this problem essentially, as those who wanted to could cheat without it, but now it will be easier. However, the role of educators is changing, with a need for a sufficiently effective presentation of ethical standards, more sophisticated pedagogies, more personal attention and mentoring.

A rather substantive issue is the mechanisation of of scientific publications. This in itself raises questions about the anomalies of the science-industry (mass production of publications, drying up of original ideas, decline of summarising-synthesising thinking, one-sidedly quantitative nature of quality assessment).

And this is where chatGPT is directly linked to university rankings. On the one hand, it draws even more attention to the questionable value of the most important indicator: the real value of such amount of academic publications. On the other hand, chatGPT offers the users of the rankings, i.e. applying students, the media and decision-makers, an orientation tool that be competitive with the rankings.

Indeed, the success and power of rankings, and especially media-oriented rankings, is largely due to the fact that they offer an easy-to-use source of information about an inherently complex phenomenon that requires prior knowledge: academic performance. They organise some selected phenomena of the academic world in a form that is transparent to the layperson. These would otherwise only be known to the public after a longer period of research and by asking experts.

However, chatGPT can not only be an easily accessible answer to questions such as which is the best university, but can also personalise these answers: which is the best university for me if I want to work in molecular biology in a country with a nice climate, where there are many tennis courts near the university building and I want to work in a pharmaceutical research company with my degree? In other words, it does not require any more energy than asking a friend, while providing more personalised information than standard rankings.

These two factors combined, i.e. easy accessibility and personalised orientation, make the chatGPT-based information service competitive among university rankings. Of course, there have been ranking experiments in the past that have tried to provide rankings tailored to the preferences of students (SwissUp in Switzerland or UnivPress-PrivatRanking in Hungary), but the most mature and unique at global level is MultiRank. AI takes all this to a higher level by providing a marketing advantage with its own hype, on the one hand, and by being able to use not only the existing indicator database but also the infinite wealth of information about universities.

However, ranking providers have room for manoeuvre: they can “teach AI about universities”, drawing on their experience in information processing and outreach. How this becomes a business model for them is another matter, but the refreshing of the ranking world is inevitable. This in turn will also allow a rethinking of the analysis and critique of rankings.

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