Which college Model UN teams are the best in the world?
We saw many benefits to answering this question and devised a methodology to create a set of rankings — we released our first set of rankings based on results up to March 21, 2011. We then took Best Delegate readers’ feedback on the rankings and methodology and made revisions to the methodology accordingly.
Please read the Methodology article first before jumping into the rankings. We clarify in the article our purpose behind the rankings, our philosophy that drives what we value in the rankings, the two Divisions in the college circuit, and several revisions to the methodology.
With that said, here are the top 16-25 teams on the college circuit! Each of these teams have demonstrated high potential — they have either won delegation awards at mid-sized and smaller conferences, placed highly at the most competitive conferences, or a combination of both.
Final 2010-11 College Rankings: World Division Top 16-25
16. University of Delaware
Delaware has won a few awards at Harvard HNMUN and U. Chicago ChoMUN, but the real highlight of its season is its top 5 finish at U. Penn UPMUNC where it won more awards than any other team except for Harvard, Georgetown, U. Chicago, and George Washington. The team should be a darkhorse for a higher ranking next season if it can pull more top 5 finishes at major conferences and it should be able to contend for a delegation award if it decides to attend smaller conferences.
17. University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley was an omission in the last rankings, but it made sense as the team only had several awards at U. Penn UPMUNC to show for it. However, the team went on a late-season run to win Best Delegation at UCLA’s LAMUN conference and to tie for sixth in terms of total number of awards won at U. Chicago ChoMUN. Those results helped Berkeley break into the top 25 and unseat rival UCLA as the top ranked team from the West Coast.
18. New York University
The relatively new NYU team crashed the top 25 last time and continued its surge up the rankings. NYU won Best Small Delegation at U. Chicago ChoMUN to compliment its awards won at U. Penn UPMUNC and McGill McMUN. NYU showed potential by winning the most gavels out of any team that did not win a delegation award at McMUN, then lived up to its potential with its delegation award at ChoMUN. If that trend is an indication of NYU’s rapid improvement, the team should be primed for a breakthrough next year.
19. Boston University
Boston University has a similar profile to the University of Delaware team ranked above it – they both used U. Penn UPMUNC as the cornerstone of a well-rounded resume. The team tied for a 9th place finish at U. Penn UPMUNC and also won awards at Harvard HNMUN and at U. Chicago ChoMUN. Like Delaware, BU does not get all the press because it does not win delegation awards at smaller conferences, but it does perform well at the most competitive conferences and has the results to be recognized in the top 25.
20. Case Western Reserve University
Case Western ranked highly on the strength of 8th place finish at Harvard HNMUN. Case Western boosts a consistent award-winning profile – in addition to HNMUN, the team won awards at U. Penn UPMUNC, Georgetown NCSC, and Columbia CMUNNY. The team also competed in the Lake Erie International MUN conference on the same weekend as NCSC.
21. Claremont McKenna College
Although Claremont McKenna does not always beat some its in-state rivals head-to-head, the team does win consistently throughout the year to outrank them. The team placed fourth in terms of overall number of awards won by American colleges attending WorldMUN and added a late-season Best Small Delegation at UCLA’s LAMUN. The team also won awards at U. Penn UPMUNC and Berkeley UCBMUN. Claremont McKenna is using a strategy of balancing its schedule between a mix of large national conferences and premier in-state conferences, and that should help it grow sustainably in the future.
22. Vanderbilt University
Vanderbilt was solidly in the top 25 after placing tied in the top 10 in terms of total number of awards won at Harvard HNMUN and with several awards won at U. Penn UPMUNC, and they were able to maintain their presence in the rankings by winning a few more awards at Virginia VICS. The similar win ratios across all the conferences Vanderbilt attended suggests the team had several stellar delegates this year who were able to carry their results at the most competitive conferences.
23. University of North Carolina, Charlotte
UNC Charlotte is usually classified in the National Division — they participate at NMUN and at regional, organization-hosted conferences including SRMUN in Atlanta and in a Model Arab League conference. However, they performed well at WorldMUN – their awards won would have put them in the running for an Outstanding Small Delegation award if WorldMUN had awarded one – and the strength of those awards allowed them to break into the top 25.
24. Tulane University
Tulane enters the rankings on the strength of their reweighted performance at U. Penn UPMUNC. The team placed 8th behind the higher-ranked Yale (Outstanding Large) and West Point (Best Small) teams in terms of overall awards won at that conference and actually did better than those teams when Verbal Commendations are taken into account. Tulane is a solid team that can boost its profile if it attends more conferences next year.
25. Florida State University
Florida State gets a lot of press because they have the delegation awards to show for it. The team won Best Small Delegation at Berkeley UCBMUN and won Best Delegation at the Five College MUN conference. In addition, the team has awards from Georgetown NCSC and Florida MUN. Florida State dropped from the last set of rankings because the reweight of some of the larger conferences gave teams that performed well at those conferences (but did not win a delegation award) a higher score than FSU’s delegation awards at smaller conferences — FSU is the highest ranked team that did not attend a large conference. Nevertheless, FSU is a talented team and we’ll be curious to see if they can continue dominating at smaller conferences next year or if they decide to compete at a conference larger than NCSC.
What do you think of the final rankings? Make sure to check back for the rest of the top 25!