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Reuters: Penn State Now the 49th-best University in the World

Penn State is the 49th-ranked university in the world, according to Thomson Reuters’ Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2013-2014. The university jumped 12 spots from its #61 spot last year, albeit with a lower aggregate score.

The rankings are based on the following scoring methodology:

  • Teaching (30% of overall score), measuring the quality of a university’s learning environment. Penn State scores a 55.3 out of 100 in this category — a 0.3 point improvement upon last year’s score;
  • Research (30% of the overall score), measuring a university’s “reputation for research excellence,” as well as a university’s research income and volume of research output. Penn State scores a 65.9 out of 100 in this category — 3.3 points lower than last year’s score of 69.2;
  • Citations (30% of the overall score), measuring a university’s research influence by the number of times its published work is cited by scholars globally. Penn State scores a 79.4 out of 100 in this category — exactly two points lower than last year’s score;
  • Industry Income (2.5% of the overall score), measuring a university’s ability to bring to industry “innovations, inventions, and consultancy.” Penn State scores a 60.0 out of 100 in this category — just a hair higher than the 59.7 that the university scored last year;
  • International Outlook (7.5% of the overall score), measuring a university’s campus diversity and the degree to which academics “collaborate with international colleagues on research projects.” Penn State scores a 33.7 out of 100 in this category — a 1.2 point regression from last year’s score of 34.9.

In sum, Penn State scored worse overall relative to last year with an aggregate score of 64.2, down from 65.8 last year. However, the university moved up in the rankings because scores were down across the board this year. In the specific categories, the university improved in “teaching” and “industry income” while regressing in “international outlook”, “research”, and “citations.”

Penn State ranks 50th overall in the Social Sciences and 38th overall in the Physical Sciences, but dropped out of the top 50 in the Life Sciences.

Among Big Ten schools, Penn State ranks behind Michigan (#18), Northwestern (#22), Illinois (#29), Wisconsin (#30), and Minnesota (#46). It’s important to note, though, that the university jumped #59 Ohio State in the rankings — bow tie effect, anyone?

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About the Author

Ted Hozza

Ted is a senior majoring in Community, the Environment, and Development, or as his friends here at Onward State like to call it, Architecture. You can probably find him at the Phyrst late at night with other Onward Staters if he's not somewhere else editing articles. You can follow him on Twitter @TedHozza or email him at [email protected].

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