Cornell again ranks among the world’s best universities, taking the number 14 spot in the annual QS World Universities Rankings released Tuesday. It is the highest the university has placed since the rankings began in 2005.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology took the top spot in the rankings, which are based on a range of factors including reputation among academics, reputation among employers and faculty-student ratios. Cornell was sandwiched between the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich at number 13 and Stanford University at number 15.
While the United States took 31 of the top 100 spots and the United Kingdom took 18, students around the world are increasingly looking to study outside their native countries, according to John O’Leary, an academic advisor to Quacquarelli Symonds, which produces the rankings.
“Global student mobility is on a seemingly unstoppable rise, with those seeking an overseas education targeting the leading universities,” O’Leary wrote. Even after considerable growth in recent years, the latest rankings show an extraordinary rise of almost 10 percent in international student numbers at the top 100 universities.”
Cornell was ranked 15th overall in 2011 and 16th overall in 2010. This year, the University also placed 18th among the best natural sciences programs, 19th in life sciences and medicine programs and 25th in arts and humanities programs.
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Update: U.S. News and World Report released its annual set of rankings early Wednesday morning, ranking Cornell 15th among the nation's top universities for the fourth straight year. The Sun reported in September 2011 that the ranking is a significant setback for the University's administration, which in its 2010-2015 Strategic Plan identified its "overarching aspiration" to make Cornell "widely recognized as a top-ten research university in the world."
“If we’re not perceived to be in the top-ten, then the quality of students will decline, the quality of faculty will decline, and the resources [going] to the institution will decline,” Provost Kent Fuchs told The Sun in October 2010.