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I'd very much love to study Math at the University of Copenhagen.

Since I am an International Student and cannot really see the university before I apply, university rankings will greatly affect my decision.

My only problem is that this university ranks quite low according to Times Higher Education (160th)

I relied on rankings to choose to come to Canada and do my undergrad at UBC (32nd) And it has worked well for me so far.

If I happen to be clever enough to get into a top 50 university, would it be stupid to still go to Denmark?

  • There is presumably a reason you wanted to go there in the first place, before you knew its ranking. – nivag Dec 4 '14 at 9:24
  • @nivag I want to live in a non english speaking country. Scandinavia seems the best fit for me. The University looks very beautiful and is in a capital city. Plus Neils Bohr studied there. upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bb/… – Jack Dec 4 '14 at 18:55
  • By the way University of Copenhagen ranks 82nd according to the latest THE rankings. It usually ranks around 50th according to QS. – adipro Aug 8 '16 at 6:09
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Is it stupid to go to a university which is ranked around 160 by Times Higher Education for a Master's degree? You should consider additional information. First, I recommend deciding what you want to do after getting your master's degree. Then consider if the degree program you are applying for will help you achieve that goal. If you are not sure, check the program or school website for statistics, or contact the program's alumni for advice.

Since this is the academia stack exchange, let's assume for the moment you want to continue in academia. In this case, the university's reputation (which is correlated with its ranking) is very important, but the specific program's reputation is even more important. (edit: People who know little about you will judge you based on the institution/program where you got your degree, because it is easy for them.) Working with a well-known faculty member can also have great importance.

Certainly rankings will not inform you if you will like living or working at an institution. Finally, normally each time you change institutions the prestige of your new position will decrease.

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    @JeffE People who know little about you will judge you based on the institution where you got your degree, because it is easy for them. – Anonymous Physicist Dec 4 '14 at 5:15
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    "Finally, normally each time you change institutions the prestige of your new position will decrease." - elaborate on that? – Gimelist Dec 4 '14 at 5:28
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    @AnonymousPhysicist I think you had a better original point about judgement, which is a specific program can have a high rank/reputation. The point of who will judge is extremely important, if you want to go into academics, the idea of 'harvard' or 'oxford' carries less weight than the average person on the street. There are many 'lower ranked' schools that have specific programs that are unmatched. People in those fields know it – user-2147482637 Dec 4 '14 at 11:03
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    @AnonymousPhysicist Generally, academics who don't know you will judge you first on where and how much you publish, and second on the department where you got your degree. The overall reputation of your university really doesn't matter. – JeffE Dec 4 '14 at 14:36
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    @AnonymousPhysicist Then your answer says something you don't want to say: "the university's reputation ... is very important" – JeffE Dec 4 '14 at 22:48

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