Le secret du succès de Harvard

AHMEDABAD, INDE – Aucun pays au monde ne domine autant un secteur que les États->Unis dominent celui de l’enseignement supérieur. Selon le classement Academic Ranking of World Universities de l’université Jiao-Tong de Shanghai, 17 des 20 meilleures universités de la planète sont par exemple des universités américaines, Harvard occupant la première place, avec une avance substantielle.

Les arguments traditionnels avancés pour expliquer ce phénomène – la richesse de l’Amérique, sa population nombreuse, son financement généreux en faveur de la recherche, son soutien sans faille en faveur du secteur privé, ainsi que la capacité du pays à attirer des universitaires du monde entier – sont incomplets. Bien que les États-Unis constituent la première économie mondiale, cette dernière ne représente qu’un quart du PIB mondial, et le pays seulement un vingtième environ de la population mondiale. De plus, son soutien en faveur de la recherche ne constitue en rien une exception.

Par ailleurs, si l’on s’en tient à cette explication traditionnelle, de grands pays comme la France, l’Allemagne, le Japon, et même la Chine et l’Inde devraient figurer en haut du tableau mondial des universités. Or, les universités de ces pays sont bien peu nombreuses à apparaître dans les classements de ce type, voire n’y figurent pas.

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