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BU Ranks 37 of Top 500 Global Universities

New U.S. News and World Report category focuses on research, reputation


Boston University has been named 37th of 500 “Best Global Universities” in a new U.S. News and World Report ranking that compares the academic research and reputation of institutions around the world. “As an increasing number of students are planning to enroll in universities outside their own country, the Best Global Universities rankings…can help those students accurately compare institutions around the world,” notes U.S. News in the introduction to the report, published October 27. The rankings were calculated on a pool of 750 universities in 49 nations.

“This new ranking from U.S. News and World Report demonstrates how strong our global competitiveness is,” says Jean Morrison, University provost. “It reflects the outstanding performance of our faculty, whose commitment to excellence in scholarship and groundbreaking research continues to place BU in a very enviable spot both nationally and globally. We are enormously pleased with the progress we’ve made over the last several years and proud of the ongoing accomplishments and hard work of our academic community. While there is always room to further build on these successes, this is an important recognition of the quality and global reach of BU.”

Powered by Thomson Reuters InCites research analytics, the report cites BU’s global score of 66, based on a series of 10 indicators, in order of weight given in calculating ranking, from greatest to smallest: global research reputation, regional research reputation, publications, normalized citation impact, total citations, number of highly cited papers, percentage of highly cited papers, international collaboration, number of PhDs awarded, and number of PhDs awarded per faculty member. The University was also ranked in comparison with other leading institutions on a range of academic subjects, from medicine to economics to neuroscience to environment/ecology. In these categories BU fared best in social sciences and public health, with a ranking of 25, followed closely by physics, clinical medicine, and molecular biology, which received rankings of 30, 30, and 33, respectively.

In the wake of these inaugural rankings, all universities “can now benchmark themselves against schools in their own country and region, become more visible on the world stage, and find top schools in other countries to consider collaborating with,” the U.S. News report says. The publication emphasizes that none of the data from its annual Best Colleges rankings, which most recently put BU at number 42, are used in the Best Global Universities rankings. For one thing, these new rankings are powered by InCites research analytics solutions, whereas U.S. News collects all of its own data for its Best Colleges and Best Graduate Schools rankings. Second, according to the U.S. News website, “the methodology​ used to compute the ​Best Global Universities rankings is ​different in many key ways from those used for Best Colleges and Best Graduate Schools, because the global rankings focus specifically on schools’ academic research and reputation overall and not their separate undergraduate or graduate programs.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​”


5 Comments on BU Ranks 37 of Top 500 Global Universities

  • Hello Kitty on 11.03.2014 at 7:36 pm

    Not 36th? Well, at least we didn’t get 38th.

  • Daniel M'Mutungi on 11.11.2014 at 10:12 am

    That is great news about my good university. Let us keep on improving.
    I am proud to be associated with BU.

    Daniel M’Mutungi

  • Wesley Furste '72 on 02.24.2015 at 1:01 am

    Go Terriers!

  • Susan Leslie on 05.01.2015 at 9:13 am

    great for kids who have a ton of money, rich kids, and only the very top get financial aid, they claim they dont give much because they dont have it, so how do we rank our schools? oh, then there are those that go into debt and cant pay the debt, those that mortgage their futures away. They dont come close to meeting need.

    • Tanya Taylor Rubinstein on 08.25.2015 at 11:32 pm

      Not my experience Susan. I’m a parent of a BU student from New Mexico. She was given a VERY generous scholarship (covering about 80% of costs). As a matter of fact, as a single mom, it’s the only way I could possibly send her here.

      You’re right about people who take out enormous loans. I would not allow her to go into huge debt to go to school here. I think that it’s a mistake with any school.

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