Los Angeles:

Home of the Playboy Bunny, Ashton Kutcher and pet spas.

This we all know. But who knew that our town is where the smartest nerds in the world get their degrees on?

It's true. According to the latest World University Rankings by Times Higher Education in the UK …

… Pasadena's own Caltech, with only 2,200 students, is the best school in the world — for the second time.


Also eye-opening: UCLA came in at number 13. Rival USC came in at 56. UC Santa Barbara beat it at 35. UC San Diego was placed at 38. Remember, this is worldwide.

That means Southern California could challenge the Northeast when it comes to elite colleges.

UC Berkeley, by the way, ranked number 9!

Now, before you hold up your copy of U.S. News & World Report's annual “Best Colleges” rankings issue, which has UCLA and USC tied at 24 in the nation, note the snob appeal of this British contest.

Forbes magazine:

Unlike Forbes' own college rankings system, which only measures U.S. institutions, or the U.S. News & World Report list, THE [Times Higher Education] does not scrutinize measures like entry requirements, graduation rates, professor ratings by students, or alumni salaries post-graduation. Instead its methodology emphasizes global scholarship and reputation. “Our list is like a global power list,” explains THE rankings editor Phil Baty. “It's focused on research and innovation.”

So don't let people say Angelenos are dumb just because we're pretty.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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