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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA ranked one of top universities in the world

Hailey Eisenbach
Hailey Eisenbach / Arizona Daily Wildcat A light thunderstorm hits campus on the afternoon of Monday, July 1, 2013.

The UA has recently been ranked as one of the top universities in the world, according to a list compiled by the Center for World University Rankings.

A quantitative approach to university rankings, the list took into account dynamics such as quality of education, excellence of faculty and their awards received, success of alumni employment and quality of research. The UA ranked number 78, following closely behind ASU, which ranked 73.

Among the top 10 were universities such as MIT, University of Oxford and Harvard, the last of which took the number one spot. According to Kasey Urquidez, associate vice president for student affairs, the UA’s high ranking is impressive to prospective students and their parents.

“Undergraduates can do research with a faculty member, study in another country and experience another culture, meet friends from all over the globe, learn from top-ranked faculty, and cheer in the largest student sporting section in the Pac-12,” Urquidez said. “UA is the full package — students get the beauty of a traditional campus feel plus the academics and social setting like no other.”

The UA is also ranked among the top 20 research universities nationwide, and is recognized globally for areas such as environment, optics, biosciences and border issues.

“One of the reasons I imagine that we’re ranking well is that because we have world leading scientists, journalists, historians and everyone we employ,” said Shane Burgess, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “This means that the students who come to the U of A are exposed to some of the very best people in the world.”

Aside from research, the UA also offers more than 550 clubs and organizations, as well as a supportive staff for its students.

“The UA is one of the most caring places a student will ever encounter,” Urquidez said. “Not only do we do a great job academically, but we really care about the students … Everything we do is with students in mind.”

Thomas Koch, dean of the College of Optical Sciences, said he didn’t think the UA’s ranking was surprising.

“There’s a history here of doing major national level projects, and so it kind of goes back to how you think of yourself really,” Koch said.

If a university thinks they’re a national leader, they’ll behave that way and become what they believe, he added.

“Not all universities are like that,” Koch said. “Some think they are a small actor or a regional school … UA is a big player in the national stage and it attracts faculty who think that way and want to get funded for large projects that fit that mold.”

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