Pitt Is No. 15 Among U.S. Public Universities in 2010-11 Times Higher Education World University Rankings

Issue Date: 
September 20, 2010

The University of Pittsburgh has placed 15th among U.S. public institutions of higher education, 38th among all U.S. universities, and 64th worldwide in the London-based 2010-11 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, issued on Sept. 16.

Other institutions among the top 15 public U.S. universities in the rankings include UC Berkeley, UCLA, Michigan, the University of Washington, North Carolina, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Among the private institutions in the top 38 U.S. universities are Harvard, Caltech, MIT, Stanford, Princeton, Yale, Johns Hopkins, Cornell, Columbia, Penn, Carnegie Mellon, Duke, Northwestern, Brown, and NYU.

“We would like to congratulate the University of Pittsburgh for its performance in this year’s rigorous rankings,” commented Ann Mroz, editor of Times Higher Education (THE) magazine, publisher of the rankings, which uses a new methodology the magazine describes as “the most detailed, rigorous, and comprehensive study of global university performance ever undertaken.”

Mroz added: “Being ranked 64 in the world’s top 200 is an impressive achievement. The top 200 universities in the world represent only a tiny fraction of world higher education, and any institution that makes it into this table is truly world class.”

According to THE World University Rankings editor Phil Baty, the rankings tables are based on data provided by Thomson Reuters, “and for the first time, an invitation-only survey of over 13,000 verified academics was conducted by Ipsos Mori [a leading market research company in the UK and Ireland]. This ensures that we have very high-quality data, both qualitative and quantitative. As global higher education is becoming more competitive than ever, inclusion in this year’s rankings is an impressive achievement for any institution. These rankings are the gold standard for world-class research institutions.”

In its announcement news release, THE said this year represented “year zero” for the rankings because of the new methodology—“developed after consultation with 50 sector leaders, our editorial board, and Web site feedback”—which “places less importance on reputation and heritage than in previous years and gives more weight to hard measures of excellence in all three core elements of a university’s mission: research, teaching, and knowledge transfer.”

THE also claims that it now has “the only global ranking system that includes a section dedicated to the teaching and learning environment.”

The rankings now include, according to THE, “13 separate performance indicators, across five broad categories”: teaching, which it calls “the learning environment” and to which it assigns 30 percent of its score; citation impact, “a normalized measure of research influence,” weighted at 32.5 percent; research, calibrated for “volume, income, and reputation,“ assigned a weight of 30 percent; international mix, incorporating “staff and student ratios,” at 5 percent; and industry income, which THE terms “measuring knowledge transfer,” at 2.5 percent.