Not long after Boston University saw a jump in college rankings in the U.S. News and World Report’s National University Rankings, BU has again seen an improvement in its stance among other universities around the world.
The Times Higher Education 2013-14 World University Rankings Top 400, released Thursday, placed BU at 50th place, a four-spot jump from its ranking at 54th place in the 2012-13 rankings.
“It [the jump in rankings] is [due to] an effort across the board at the university, specifically the president’s work on putting together a strategic plan seven years ago, following it and keeping the administration and faculty aware of and in partnership with the efforts to improve the university,” said BU spokesman Colin Riley.
The World University Rankings, powered by Thomson Reuters, annually ranks colleges and universities around the world. Each school is given a score from 1 to 100 based on thirteen different performance indicators in the categories of teaching, research, citations, industry income and international outlook, according to its website.
“Times Higher Education is the only rankings provider to consider all core missions of a modern, global university: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international activity,” said Times Higher Education spokeswoman Fran Langdon.
BU scored highest in the areas of teaching and citations, with an overall score of 63.5.
Harvard University ranked second overall, while Massachusetts Institute of Technology took fifth place. Other notable rankings of area schools include Brown University at 52nd place and Tufts University at 80th place.
BU’s jump from 54th to 50th place may have less to do with the university and more to do with movement of other schools on the list, Langdon said.
“Overall, Boston [BU]’s performance this year has actually been quite stable,” she said. “A number of top institutions have fallen in the rankings this year, which could have worked to cause this slight movement upwards.”
However, BU may now look better to prospective international students, Langdon said.
“You have displayed an increase in your score for international outlook — attracting international students and staff and collaborating with academics from across the globe,” Langdon said.
BU experienced its last jump in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings two years ago, when it went from being ranked 59th in the 2010-11 rankings, to 54th in the 2011-12 rankings.
“Our office, Dean Elmore and all the other deans, are very pleased with the schools that we’re being compared to,” said Assistant to the Dean of Students Katherine Cornetta. “We feel it’s definitely where we belong.”
Cornetta said the university is happy to see BU’s exceptional education and research being acknowledged by outside institutions.
“We’re seeing a change in universities in general across the country,” she said. “You’re starting to see that reflect how we are perceived by prospective students, current students and alumni.”
In September, BU jumped ten spots in the U.S. News and World Report’s National University Ranking from 51st place in the 2012-13 rankings to 41st place in the 2013-14 rankings.
College of Arts and Sciences senior Charlotte Saul said she has seen a marked difference in the quality of her experience at BU over her time in Boston.
“The quality of student services has definitely increased, she said. “…Whether it’s opportunities for study abroad or even just guest lectures or guest speakers, the qualities of those programs are increasing. Students are really noticing.”
CAS sophomore Vanessa Sandri said college rankings are an important indicator of a school’s reputation in comparison with other colleges and universities.
“When I was looking for colleges, I went online several times a day to look at ranking based on what students said, the U.S. News and World Report, and the others as well,” she said.
Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences senior Laurie Stieglitz said she has seen improvements in programs and professors at Sargent as well as the construction of new facilities at BU such as the New Balance Field and the Center for Student Services at 100 Bay State Road.
“When I came in as a freshman, it [BU] was not that high [in the rankings],” she said. “I’m a senior now, so it’s nice to see that there’s improvement all around.”