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BU One of World’s Top 50 Universities

Year in Review: 2008


Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

Through December 24, BU Today is looking back at the most popular stories of the year. We’ll be back with new stories for the new year on Monday, January 5. Happy holidays!

Times Higher Education, a British weekly about higher education, has ranked Boston University number 46 in its annual rating of the top 200 institutions of higher learning in the world.

BU President Robert A. Brown says he is pleased with the University’s position. “Although I hesitate to put much stock in these ranking exercises, ” he says, “it is wonderful to be recognized as one of the leading research universities in the world and to be listed along with these peer institutions.”

Provost David K. Campbell says the University is “delighted and justifiably proud” to be ranked among the top 50 universities in the world.

“This ranking attests to Boston University’s global reputation and presence and is an affirmation of our continuing drive toward greater excellence,” Campbell says.

BU is ranked 21 among U.S. colleges.

The rankings are based on the opinions of academics and corporate recruiters, as well as on the ratio of faculty members to students and how often faculty members’ publications are cited in academic journals. They fall into seven categories: peer review, employer review, staff/student review, citations, international staff, and international students. BU scored highest (91 out of 100) in peer review, 85 in employer review, 66 in staff/student review, 73 in citations, 26 in international staff, and 59 in international students. The University’s overall score of 79.1 bumped its ranking up one notch from last year’s 47.

This year’s top-ranked university is Harvard, whose overall score was 100, followed by Yale (99.8) and the University of Cambridge (99.5).

The Times Higher Education rankings are dominated, as they have been in recent years, by American institutions, which took 6 of the top 10 positions on the list, while institutions in the United Kingdom claimed 4. U.S. schools landed 37 spots in the list’s top 100, and the UK had 17.

The list is produced by Times Higher Education, formerly the Times Higher Education Supplement, and Quacquarelli Symonds, a company that provides career and education information.

This story was originally published on BU Today on October 15, 2008.

Art Jahnke can be reached at jahnke@bu.edu.

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