Hollywood sometimes gives Los Angeles a bad rap — that this is a city of vanity. But L.A. County universities continually appear near the top of global college rankings.

The latest ranking, U.S. News & World Report's “Best Global Universities,” places Pasadena's Caltech at No. 6. UCLA is ranked 13th overall and third among public schools. The publication evaluated 1,250 universities in 74 countries “using a methodology that focuses on a school's research performance and reputation, not its specific undergraduate or graduate programs,” according to a summary.

Just last month UCLA made headlines when it tied rival UC Berkeley as the nation's top-ranked public school in U.S. News' “2018 Best Colleges” list. The publication said previously that the best-college accolades are more about the quality of undergraduate education and how students fare post-graduation.

Despite being beat by the University of Washington, which ranked just ahead of it among public schools, the Westwood institution took this week's global ranking in stride.

“UCLA ranked highly in several of these indicators, including global research reputation (No. 8), publications (No. 13) and number of papers that are among the top 1 percent most cited (No. 12),” according to a school statement. “UCLA has consistently performed well in a variety of national and international rankings. Most recently, UCLA was ranked No. 1 among U.S. public universities and No. 25 overall in the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education Top Colleges ranking.”

We reached out to Caltech but did not receive an immediate response. Earlier this month the school celebrated a Nobel Prize win by two of its physicists, bringing the number of Nobels achieved by faculty and staff there to a whopping 38.

The top 50 of U.S. News' global rankings also included such California schools as Stanford University (third), Berkeley (fourth), UC San Francisco (15th), UC San Diego (16th), UC Santa Barbara (28th) and UC Santa Cruz (47th).

The top five schools globally were Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Berkeley and Oxford University, respectively.

In a statement the publication noted that top students are increasingly shopping across the globe for the best academic home: “The Best Global Universities rankings allow consumers to accurately evaluate and compare international schools to find the right fit for them,” said Anita Narayan, the publication's managing editor of education.

Credit: U.S. News & World Report

Credit: U.S. News & World Report

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