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ASU ranks among world's top 100 universities

August 16, 2012

The Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University this week released the 10th edition of its annual global university ranking, 2012 Academic Ranking of World Universities, and Arizona State University once again ranks among the top 100 universities in the world.

The university first entered the Academic Rankings of World Universities (ARWU) in 2003 and achieved top 100 status in 2006. Since that time, ASU has moved up 21 spots and is ranked 79th this year.

The top five world universities are Harvard, Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Cambridge in England.

ASU ranked 46th among all universities in the United States and 26 among all public U.S. universities.

“We are proud to see that the ARWU rankings once again reflect ASU’s ongoing commitment to research excellence and to supporting an outstanding community of faculty,” said Elizabeth D. Phillips, executive vice president 
and provost of the university.

The Academic Rankings of World Universities is considered one of the two most prominent world university rankings, along with the Times Higher Education World University Ranking.

In addition to the overall ranking, ASU was highly ranked in several other categories by general scientific field and subject matter:

• 18th in economics/business (subject)

• 20th in the social sciences (field)

• Group 51-75 in computer science (subject)

• Group 51-75 in engineering/technology/computer science (field)

• Group 76-100 in natural sciences and mathematics (field)

• Group 76-100 in physics (subject)

As opposed to more popular lists, such as the U.S. News & World Report rankings that predominantly measure average SAT scores of incoming freshmen, selectivity, average faculty compensation or student-to-faculty ratio, the ARWU measure outcomes – the achievements of alumni and faculty.

ARWU uses six objective indicators to rank world universities, including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, number of highly cited researchers selected by Thomson Scientific, number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index - Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance with respect to the size of an institution.

In total, more than 1,000 universities are actually ranked and the best 500 are published on the website

According to the Shanghai University, the initial purpose of ARWU was to find the global standing of top Chinese universities. Since then, it has attracted a great deal of attention from universities, governments and public media worldwide. A survey on higher education published by The Economist called ARWU "the most widely used annual ranking of the world's research universities." The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that ARWU "is considered the most influential international ranking."

By country, the United States had 53 universities in the top 100; followed by the United Kingdom with 9; Australia with five; Germany, Canada, Switzerland and Japan with four; Israel, France and Sweden with three; Denmark, Netherlands with two; and Russia, Norway, Finland and Belgium with one.