UCLA is one of the top 10 universities on the planet. If you think you've read that here before, you're right.
But this isn't a case of déjà vu. It seems more like a case of U.S. News & World Report catching up with the rest of the world, or at least with the London-based publication Times Higher Education.
U.S. News & World Report's annual “Best Colleges” ranking of American schools is probably the most influential list of its kind, but lately Times Higher Education's “World Reputation Rankings” and “World University Rankings” have been stealing some of U.S. News' thunder in this arena.
And the Times' global lists have consistently ranked UCLA among the top 10 or 15 schools—worldwide. Not so for U.S. News' American-only college rankings. But now U.S. News is getting on the bandwagon.
This week U.S. News & World Report unveiled its “inaugural” “Best Global Universities” rankings.
UCLA, which came in at 23rd on U.S. News' American list last month, is now seen as number 8 in the world under its “Best Global Universities” guide.
How could a school that's barely top 25 in the United States be the eighth-best university on the planet, as U.S. News has decided in both cases?
A spokeswoman for the publication told us this:
The methodology? used to compute the ?Best Global Universities rankings is ?different in many key ways from the methodologies used for Best Colleges, because the global rankings focus specifically on schools' academic research and reputation overall and not their separate undergraduate or graduate programs.
It's still interesting to note that UCLA has made number 8 on both the new U.S. News “Best Global Universities” list and on Times Higher Education's World Reputation Rankings from last year.
Is there an echo around here?
The spokeswoman for U.S. News said the new ranking is not a reaction to Times Higher Education's success—that “we are publishing a variation on the original idea of our national rankings,” an idea that goes back 30 years.
Here's the top 10 list of U.S. News' “Overall Best Global Universities:”
Harvard University (U.S.)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (U.S.)
University of California—Berkeley (U.S.)
Stanford University (U.S.)
University of Oxford (U.K.)
University of Cambridge (U.K.)
California Institute of Technology (U.S.)
University of California—Los Angeles (U.S.)
University of Chicago (U.S.)
Columbia University (U.S.)
The publication evaluated 500 universities in 49 countries. USC came in at number 50. UC Berkeley made number 3. Stanford was number 4. Caltech was number 7. And UC San Diego made the 18th spot.
UCLA scored high (5th) in “highly cited papers,” “total citations” (6th) and “global research reputation (9th). The school said yesterday that “UCLA has consistently performed very well in a variety of other recent rankings.”