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BU climbed to number 37 in the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings of top national universities, a personal best for the University in the magazine’s rating. The two-spot increase is part of a trend spanning the last decade, which has seen the University’s ranking rise from 60th.
“It is gratifying that our strategy for increasing the quality of undergraduate education and research at the University has been consistently recognized by increased rankings by U.S. News & World Report,” says BU President Robert A. Brown.
U.S. News assessed 311 institutions in this year’s rankings, measuring overall performance and the quality of individual programs. In the latter area, BU’s undergraduate engineering education moved up in the rankings to 49, from 53 last year.
The College of Engineering “continues to advance a unique vision of preparing students for the digital and maker economies, while ensuring our students obtain foundational life and engineering skills to become so-called societal engineers,” says Kenneth Lutchen, dean of ENG. “This theme ensures our students are well prepared for lifelong learning and success as they interact with people from all disciplines, and regardless of where their careers take them.”
The magazine upgraded BU in other areas as well: best colleges for veterans (14th, up from 23rd last year) and top universities picked by high school counselors (35th, up from 36th). It also had the fifth-largest percentage of international students among universities and colleges.
The University’s undergraduate business programs fell two notches, to 40 from 38 last year.
U.S. News compiles the rankings based on criteria that include undergraduate graduation and retention rates, outside assessments of a school’s excellence, the resources provided faculty, and admissions selectivity.
The magazine also considers a school’s financial resources and alumni giving, both of which have been enhanced at BU by the five-year-old Campaign for Boston University. The comprehensive campaign achieved its original target of $1 billion last year, prompting Brown to set a new goal of $1.5 billion by 2019.
In another just-released assessment, London-based QS’ 2018 Graduate Employee Rankings list BU 51st out of 500 universities globally for “graduate employability.”
The QS employability rankings are based, in descending order of importance, on a university’s reputation with employers, gauged by a survey of more than 30,000; the success of alumni, as measured by their making various high-achievement lists in different walks of life; a university’s partnerships with employers on both research and work placement; on-campus connections between employers and students; and the percent of graduates who are employed within a year of graduation, excluding those who continue their education.
Among those metrics, BU scored highest (ranked at 54th) for the success of its alumni, QS reported.