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The University of Utah Ranks as World-Class


January 20, 2010–The Center for World-Class Universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University ranks the University of Utah (U of U) number 80 in the 2009 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU.) Since the ARWU was first released in June 2003, the University of Utah has been among the top 100 universities in the world, the only school in Utah so recognized.

“The caliber of an educational experience cannot generally be measured by an arbitrary ranking,” University President Michael K. Young emphasizes. “But unlike many of the collegiate ranking systems, the ARWU ranking does represent a legitimate and thoughtful comparison of academic performance among 1,200 of the world’s leading universities. To be consistently included among the top 100 universities in the world speaks highly of the U’s faculty and the caliber of teaching and learning they provide to students.”

The ARWU rankings identify the leading 500 universities around the world and are widely referenced by the global university community.

“The Shanghai Index is the leading global index of research university performance. Universities, departments of education, leading policy makers on every continent rely on its findings,” says John Francis, senior associate vice president for academic affairs. “It is a wonderful recognition for the University of Utah to be included among the top 100 universities on the planet and to have a number of our departments to be included among the very best.”

The ARWU has generated a global following for its transparent and consistent ranking methodology. “Objectivity, transparency, accuracy and consistency are keys to any successful ranking,” says Dr. Cheng Ying of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, who currently plays a major role in ARWU development. Dr. Cheng continues, “in addition to the overall and broad subject field rankings, we introduced subject rankings for the first time. The subjects for the 2009 ranking are chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, and physics.”

In the newly ranked academic subjects, the University of Utah appears in the top 75 for mathematics, chemistry, and economics/business. Among the broad subject fields, the U of U ranks in the top 50 for life and agriculture sciences (which includes biology, microbiology, genetics, neuroscience and ecology/environment.) It ranks in the top 75 for clinical medicine and pharmacy, as well as for social sciences. Finally, the U of U is in the top 100 for engineering/technology and computer sciences.

Methodology used to create the ARWU ranking is based, in part, on the following: the total number of the alumni of an institution winning Nobel Prizes, the total number of the staff of an institution winning Nobel Prizes, the number of highly cited researchers in twenty broad academic subject categories, the total number of papers indexed by two reputable indexing firms, the percentage of papers published in the top 20 percent of journals in each broad subject field, and the total engineering-related research expenditures (for the engineering ranking only.) To view the full methodology visit: http://www.arwu.org/FieldMethodology2009.jsp#2.

Starting in 2009, the ARWU has been published by ShanghaiRanking Consultancy. The rankings are updated annually. A complete list of the rankings can be found at the Academic Ranking of World Universities website at http://www.arwu.org/.