UC Berkeley ranked 2nd-most progressive college in US

photo of UC Berkeley campus
Ryan Kendrick /Staff
UC Berkeley was ranked second in a list of the 40 most progressive U.S. schools. The study, issued by Degreechoices.com, used five categories for its rankings: diversity, inclusivity, sustainability, freedom of speech and health and well-being.

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UC Berkeley was ranked as the second-most progressive college in the United States, according to a study issued by Degreechoices.com.

Out of the 40 schools in the United States that were included in the ranking, UC Berkeley only fell behind Stanford University with a score of 73.4.

The ranking took into consideration five different categories: diversity, inclusivity, sustainability, freedom of speech and health and well-being. UC Berkeley scored 87 for diversity, 43.9 for inclusivity, 86.6 for sustainability, 80.6 for freedom of speech and 68.9 for health and well-being, according to the study.

The progressive college data was collected in order to display the ways in which education “creates equality,” according to Ory Weihs, founder of Degreechoices.com.

Campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof noted campus’s appreciation for the honor, adding that it welcomes the recognition of its strides in each of the ranking’s respective categories.

“Our commitment to student health and well being, diversity, inclusivity, sustainability, and freedom of expression is unwavering,” Mogulof said in an email. “We will continue to devote significant time, energy, and resources to the wide array of programs, services, and initiatives that support these essential values and priorities.”

Campus’s highest scores came in the diversity and sustainability categories, with the latter ranking being reflected in campus’s Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, or STARS, assessment as well, according to the study.

According to Kira Stoll, campus director of sustainability, the STARS evaluation provided the school with valuable insight into what it was doing to “incorporate sustainability” into all parts of campus, emphasizing areas for possible improvement and revealing how it ranked in comparison to other colleges.

As for campus’s score in the freedom of speech category, the 1960s saw UC Berkeley student Mario Savio light the fire for the Free Speech Movement, propelling a legacy of student activism in the years following, according to a previous article from The Daily Californian.

Campus’s student involvement in the movement was reflected in its 80.6 score, the study notes.

“What this means to you is that UC Berkeley has a robust support system for their existing and potential students,” Randeep Uppal, spokesperson for global marketing company ICS-digital, said in an email. “Scoring highly across all of these categories is a truly positive result and one that the university should be pleased with.”

Uppal noted that in creating the survey, each of the metrics was selected to represent matters of significance for students.

He added that although this study is in its first year, it will be recreated in the future with a focus on other areas that are considered important by students.

“Sitting comfortably amongst the Ivy Leagues, UC Berkeley has shown why it is a renowned university, the stats speak for themselves and we believe it sits perfectly at the number 2 spot,” Uppal said in the email.

Contact Nadia Farjami at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @Nadiafarjami.