UC Berkeley places ninth among universities worldwide

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UC Berkeley placed ninth among universities worldwide, according to rankings released Wednesday by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Last year, the campus placed 10th. Other UC campuses on the list include UCLA and UC Santa Barbara, which remained in the 13th and 35th spots, respectively. UC San Diego dropped from 33rd in 2011 to 38th in 2012, and UC Davis’s ranking fell from 38th in 2011 to 44th in 2012.

All universities ranked have undergraduate teaching programs. Thirty percent of the final ranking score is based on the quality of the institution’s learning environment.

In a survey ranking the six-year graduation rates of universities nationwide, released by the Chronicle of Higher Education in March, UC Berkeley placed second among public universities and 24th overall with a graduation rate of 91.1 percent in 2010.

“Over the years campus officials have remained dedicated to ensuring that more students remain on track and go on to graduate on time,” said campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore in an email. “In recent years, even amid financial challenges, the university has further invested in this effort with an increase in introductory math, science and statistics courses.”

She added that the campus has created more reading and composition and foreign language classes.

The percentage of the entering freshman class from 1996 that had graduated by 2002 was 83 percent. The percentage of the entering freshman class in 2004 that had graduated by 2010 was 91 percent. The percentage of students who entered in 1996 and had graduated by 2000 was 51 percent, and the percentage of students who entered in 2004 and had graduated by 2008 was 69 percent.

Yet, many UC Berkeley students still aim to graduate within four years. Brian Ng, a UC Berkeley fifth year, had to take an extra semester beyond the typical eight after failing two classes during his junior year.

“I know quite a few people who are either taking the extra semester or have done so in the past,” he said in an email.

In 2011, the average time to graduate was 3.98 years, according to the campus’s undergraduate profile. This is a decrease from 2003, when the average time for freshmen to complete an undergraduate degree was 4.2 years, according data from the UC Office of the President.

In comparison, with a six-year graduation rate in 2010 of 92.7 percent, the University of Virginia is the only public university with a rate higher than that of UC Berkeley. Over the eight years of data included in the study, UVA has had a higher graduation rate every year. However, that data show UC Berkeley’s graduation rates increasing much more quickly over that same period.

Contact Jacob Brown at [email protected]