The University of Texas at Austin vaulted into the top 25 of the world's elite universities in the 2012-13 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, considered one of the most authoritative assessments of universities.
The university's ranking jumped to No. 25 from No. 29 in the 2011-12 rankings. The university achieved higher scores in all the major ranking categories such as teaching, research and innovation.
The rankings' editor noted that The University of Texas at Austin's gain was striking in that it bucked the trend of other U.S. universities and was made against strengthening global competition.
"UT Austin's impressive performance this year sees it enter the top 25 of the world's best universities," editor Phil Baty said. "Even more remarkably, this jump from 29 to 25 comes amidst an alarming sector-wide decline for the U.S., with 51 institutions falling down the table in the face of mounting competition from heavy-spending Asian nations. UT Austin is one of a minority of American universities resilient to the challenge posed by the East in 2012, and it is rightly rewarded with a place in the world's top 25."
The higher ranking comes even as the university receives less state funding and charges lower tuition than most of its peer public research universities in the United States.
"When we consider that we are keeping company with universities that are hundreds of years old, and schools with private endowments and public funding that dwarf ours, we have that much more to be proud of," said President Bill Powers. "If we can make the world's top 25 with the relatively low funding we have now, imagine what we could do with a robust and sustained commitment."
The Times Higher Education ranking is the latest to place UT Austin among the world's top universities.
The university is 30th on the Center for World University Rankings of the world's top 100 universities and 35th on the Academic Rankings of World Universities. In the U.S. News and World Report magazine rankings of America's best colleges and graduate schools, the university tied for 46th among the top national universities and ranked 13th among the public schools.
"UT Austin's impressive showing in The Times Higher Education World Rankings is evidence that the university's motto rings true: 'What starts here changes the world,'" said UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa. "I am very proud of President Bill Powers, his faculty and staff for working together to position UT Austin to be named among the 25 best universities in the world."
"The fact that UT Austin's scores increased during a time when global competition has been strengthening is particularly heartening," said Gene Powell, chairman of the UT System Board of Regents. "On behalf of the Regents, I congratulate President Bill Powers and the outstanding faculty, staff and students at UT Austin for this achievement."
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings uses 13 separate performance indicators to examine a university's strengths against all of its core missions teaching, research and citations, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
The university's overall score for the 2012-13 ranking was 78.8 out of 100, up from 74.9 last year.
UT Austin's scores increased in all five of the ranking's headline categories. The new scores, with the 2011-12 scores in parentheses, are: Teaching, 75.5 (69.5); Research, 80.7 (76.1); Citations, 91 (89.6); Industry Income, 57.9 (57.7); International Outlook, 42.1 (38.8).
According to the Times, the data for the rankings are collected, analyzed and verified by Thomson Reuters, a global information-tracking company. This year's rankings employ an identical methodology to the 2011-12 rankings for clear year-on-year comparisons.
The Times Higher Education rankings information was released Oct. 3, with more detailed information to come Oct. 6.