Chancellor Howard Gillman
In his investiture speech, Chancellor Howard Gillman cited innovation, expansion and partnerships as key to further enhancing the campus's excellence, impact and global preeminence. Steve Zylius / UC Irvine

For the fourth consecutive year, UC Irvine is ranked first among U.S. universities under 50 years old by Times Higher Education. UC Irvine has been the top U.S. university and in the top 10 worldwide each year since THE’s 100 Under 50 list was introduced in 2012. UC Irvine officially celebrates its 50th anniversary in October and is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. Performance benchmarks used in the Britain-based rankings, released today, included research and the teaching environment. Special attention was paid to international collaboration, citations of campus research by other scientists, and the degree to which research has spawned technical innovation.  One trend evident in this and other world university rankings is the emergence of universities as global collaborators in health and technology research. At his investiture in March, UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman outlined his vision for enhancing the campus’s work in those arenas by building a new center for the convergence of science and engineering. Health-related research today integrates previously separate academic disciplines, he explained. Bioinformatics, synthetic biology, nanobiology, computational biology, tissue engineering, biomaterials and systems biology all reflect a merging of research across the life sciences, the physical sciences, engineering, information and computer sciences, and the social and behavioral sciences. “While we have exciting pockets on campus where these sorts of collaborations take place, we do not have the kind of facility that will allow big-scale research on a broad range of global challenges,” Gillman said. “To my mind … it’s imperative that we be prepared to invest in such a structure.” In addition, the campus last year created the Office of Global Engagement to plan and support worldwide partnerships and the Institute for Innovation, which is focused on integrating research, entrepreneurship and technology to create real-world applications that benefit the public and drive the economy.