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Culture / Newsy

Texas School Ranked One of the World’s Best Colleges, But it’s Not the One You Think

Beaten Ivy League Powers Annoyed

BY // 11.07.16

Charlie Strong may be fighting for his football life (and continued employment) at the University of Texas, but off the field UT is doing just fine. Contrary to some misconceptions out there, Texans do care about more than just football — and the college that employs Strong is ranked No. 1 in all important new rankings that have nothing to do with Jeff Sagarin’s computers or any overblown playoff committee.

University of Texas is the top ranked Texas school in U.S. News & World Report’s prestigious 2017 Best Global Universities rankings, significantly ahead of traditional academic superpower Rice University and far ahead of usual rival Texas A&M University. But Texas is not just lapping the Lone Star State field.

It’s deemed the 30th best college in the entire world by a magazine whose college rankings have long been considered something of an academic bible.  That puts the University of Texas above a significant chunk of the Ivy League, including Brown and Dartmouth. Longhorns are smarter?

Rice, which finds itself sitting at No. 61, has to be particularly annoyed at its ranking. Texas A&M almost makes the Top 100 universities in the world (it’s at 105), but any celebration of that is likely muted by the fact Texas ranks 75 spots higher.

Still, 1,000 universities from 65 different countries are ranked in this colossal project. Any school close to the Top 100 is doing very well. The rankings are designed to determine how a college stacks up globally. Twelve indicators were relied on and weighed — including a school’s global research reputation (worth 12.5 percent of the total score), regional research reputation (12.5 percent), publications produced (the number of scholarly articles published in respected journals, which accounts for 10 percent), books produced (2.5 percent) and international collaboration (10 percent) — to determine a college’s final score and standing.

Schools that are active citizens in the global world tend to do well.

The University of Houston comes in at 368th, well ahead of Southern Methodist University (No. 443). When it comes to global universities, the game is changing. These are one rankings where new powers can rise up and challenge the college status quo.

Sometimes, even the vaunted Ivy League’s not safe from a little Texas push.

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