In interesting educational news this week, Google revealed its list of the most popular searches related to universities. Google’s index is different from almost any other educational rating, as it indicates precisely where and what the majority of people are looking at. Instead of seeing traditional, brown-stone universities like Oxford and Harvard high up the list, observers have noted that online universities and other less well-known institutions have dominated this year’s rankings.

It was also fascinating to note the increasing presence of the developing world and regional movements toward higher and tertiary education. For example, five of the twenty institutions listed by Google are based in India. Also of note, the top US entrant, the University of Phoenix (which has battled accusations of dodgy dealings and claims of controversial recruitment methods) topped this year’s index, taking the vaunted pole position.

Traditionally renowned universities, however, have continued to make appearances on the Google index. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (which was recently ranked as the world’s best university) has a reputation for innovations and pioneering scientific study. But along with that, the University has also boosted its profile as a leading provider of online courses, offering students a flexible and rigorous educational experience.

Other legendary campuses such as Harvard, Oxford, the London School of Economics, Stanford and NYU also appear on the list, but it appears the greatest splash has been made by those willing and able to accommodate an ever changing student-base. As a result of these rankings, some big names in education will no doubt re-think their game plans and tactics for approaching a new generation of in-touch millennials.

Though no Australian universities made the list, it’s still worth examining Google’s twenty most popular universities. Here is their list in full…

1. University of Phoenix
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
3. Open University
4. University of Calicut
5. University of California, Los Angeles
6. Anna University
7. Stanford University
8. London School of Economics
9. Columbia University
10. New York University
11. University of Mumbai
12. University College London
13. University of Oxford
14. Florida State University
15. Harvard University
16. University of Cambridge
17. Liberty University
18. University of Rajasthan
19. University of Michigan
20. Annamalai University


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