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A word about rankings

While rankings can sometimes be useful in assessing potential partners, they can also be dangerous and misleading. Differences in institutional mission, student audience, and relationship to local and national development have created a wide range of valuable, effective, and excellent institutions in Japan and the United States. Many ranking systems ignore this, choosing one or two criteria for their ratings, usually research output and the academic achievements of incoming students. As Mayumi Ishikawa (2009) points out, such rankings establish a single model of academic excellence, when a multi-faceted model is more appropriate. Such rankings mask the many forms of excellence that exist, and they can blind colleges and universities to some of the most appropriate potential partners.