UC San Diego has netted the No. 5 spot in the Times Higher Education ranking of the globe’s best public universities. The campus was named 31st overall among universities worldwide and the nation’s 20th best college based on quality of teaching, knowledge transfer, international outlook and research influence.
The annual report by the Times takes into account a variety of indicators. UC San Diego was able to climb 10 spots in the overall international rankings this year because of three research metrics: reputation, income and output. In addition, the campus ranked higher due to a rise in the amount of industry income it received per staff.
“Being unbound by tradition has given our campus the liberty to innovate,” Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla told the Times Higher Education in an interview featured in the rankings. “UC San Diego is an experimental campus—our model from day one has been focused on issues and the greater good, rather than disciplines. This nontraditional approach allows our students, faculty and researchers to make contributions that benefit society, and our collaborative environment among top scholars propels strengths in disciplines across the board.”
The 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings list the top 1,000 universities in the world, making it the London-based publication’s biggest international report to date. The Times states that its metrics represent key areas of higher education excellence.
According to the Times, UC San Diego’s location on the Torrey Pines Mesa, which is home to major biomedical institutes, is another factor why the university performs so well in terms of industry income.
UC San Diego’s strengths in international rankings are also attributed to its exceptional research and innovative approach to education. For example, cancer researchers on campus were recently awarded $18.2 million for combining an experimental drug with an approved drug in an effort to boost remission rates and long-term cancer control. Another recent campus study identified a number of previously unknown types of human brain cells, which could help explain how the brain works and what goes wrong in disease. It could also help unravel some of the mysteries of consciousness.
Earlier this year, the Times ranked UC San Diego as the world’s top “Golden Age” university—in which the publication evaluated the best institutions founded between 1945 and 1966, a time when there was rapid university expansion and increasing investment in research. The rankings were consistent with similar lists that include UC San Diego among the top universities across the globe. The journal Nature recently named the campus the world’s 14th best for developing research used to create products or services that benefit society and spur economic growth. Also, the campus was listed as the 15th best university in the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). In addition, the university’s efforts in social innovation and education were recently recognized with an official Changemaker Campus designation from Ashoka U, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs.
This article was originally published for UC San Diego News Center.