UT-Austin Cracks Top 25 in Latest Worldwide Rankings

UT-Austin bucks a trend of American universities falling behind their Asian competitors. The world’s most prestigious rankings list, released today, shows UT outpacing its peers.

The University of Texas at Austin has once again been ranked among the best universities in the world. Released today, the 2012 World University Rankings has high praise for UT-Austin, placing it among the world’s top 25 and calling the institution’s progress in the last year “extraordinary.”

The 2012 review of global higher education, published in the Times Higher Education supplement, ranks UT-Austin 25 in the world, up from 29 in 2011. The international recognition comes a day after polling confirmed that most Texans have a favorable impression of their public universities.

The global economic downturn and the rise of Asian universities were cited as reasons for lackluster performances from many American universities. UT-Austin, however, was credited with bucking the trend.

“UT-Austin’s impressive performance this year sees it enter the top 25 of the world’s best universities,” wrote editor Phil Baty. “Even more remarkably, this jump from 29 to 25 comes amidst an alarming sector-wide decline for the U.S., with 51 institutions falling down the table in the face of mounting competition from heavy-spending Asian nations. UT-Austin is one of a minority of American universities resilient to the challenge posed by the East in 2012, and it is rightly rewarded with a place in the world’s top 25.”

The survey’s methodology includes what the editors call “all core missions of the modern global university—research, teaching, knowledge transfer, and international activity.” Data for the Times rankings is provided by Thomson Reuters.

The University has held concerns about the ranking’s methodology in previous years. UT-Austin withdrew from the Times rankings 2010, referencing budget constraints and new, untested methods as reasons for opting out. That year, state agencies, including public universities, were asked to reduce their overall budgets by 5 percent—a $29 million cut for UT-Austin.

UT-Austin participated in the Times survey again in 2011, earning an overall score of 74.9 out of 100. The University improved in every focus area this year, reaching an overall score of 78.8.

“When we consider that we are keeping company with universities that are hundreds of years old, and schools with private endowments and public funding that dwarf ours, we have that much more to be proud of,” President Bill Powers said in a statement. “If we can make the world’s top 25 with the relatively low funding we have now, imagine what we could do with a robust and sustained commitment.”

Photo by Marsha Miller.


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