UC Irvine ranks first in the U.S. and fourth in the world among the 100 best universities less than 50 years old, according to an analysis by Times Higher Education. Founded in 1965, UCI also is the youngest university to gain membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities.

UCI and UC Santa Cruz – coming in seventh globally – are the only American universities to make the top 10. South Korea’s Pohang University of Science & Technology leads the list; there are six East Asian institutions in the top 20. The United Kingdom has more universities on the roster than any other nation, with 20.

The “100 Under 50” list aims to show which countries are challenging the U.S. and the U.K. as higher-education powerhouses – and offers insight into which institutions are poised to become future world leaders.

“We are gratified that this ranking recognizes our leadership among modern universities,” said Michael Gottfredson, UCI’s executive vice chancellor and provost. “UCI was among the first universities to create a school of information & computer sciences and a department of Earth system science. We’ve also been a leader in creating multidisciplinary, collaborative programs that combine technology with the arts, humanities and social sciences. These are the kinds of initiatives that position us as innovators.”

Times Higher Education used the same performance benchmarks for the “100 Under 50” as it did for its top 400 “World University Rankings” last fall, which places UCI 86th. However, the emphasis on subjective indicators such as academic prestige was reduced, since older universities with established alumni networks have had more time to forge a reputation.

“It was agreed that an analysis of younger institutions, designed to examine future potential as much as current excellence and to move away from heritage or legacy, should be based more on hard, objective performance indicators,” the magazine states.

Principal criteria were:

  • Research – volume, income and reputation (30 percent)
  • Citations – research influence (30 percent)
  • Teaching – the learning environment (30 percent)
  • International outlook – people and research (7.5 percent)
  • Industry income – innovation (2.5 percent)

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led byChancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s second-largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

News Radio: UCI maintains on campus an ISDN line for conducting interviews with its faculty and experts. Use of this line is available for a fee to radio news programs/stations that wish to interview UCI faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is subject to availability and approval by the university.