Two Bay Area universities – UC Berkeley and Stanford – are ranked in the elite top six universities worldwide for reputation, according to the 2012 Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings released Thursday.
Led by Harvard, the top six this year are the same as the top six last year and rank in the same order – with one exception. Stanford moved up to fourth this year from fifth, while Cal dropped from fourth to fifth.
The top six this year are:
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
- UC Berkeley
These universities scored considerably higher than others in the poll of more 17,500 academics worldwide and represent "an elite group of six 'super brands,' Times Higher Education said. The six are concentrated geographically as three pairs – in the Bay Area, in Cambridge, MA, and in the "Oxbridge" nexus not far from London.
Stanford's news bureau was silent on the honor, while UC Berkeley issued a press release titled, "Berkeley shines in new reputation, graduate school rankings," about the Times Higher Education ranking and the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of graduate schools, which placed several Berkeley programs high on the list.
Berkeley's press release cited the Times analysis saying, “The six occupy what one expert describes as ‘a special zone beyond ordinary competition,’ riding well ahead of the chasing pack and reaping the multiple rewards associated with being the world’s best in teaching and research.”
Also significant, the Times said, is improved standings of Asian and mainland European universities in the top 100, attributable in part to increased higher-education investment by the respective governments. Several moved up, while some U.S. and UK institutions dropped off the list.
This year's ranking finds the University of Tokyo in eighth place below Princeton in seventh and above UCLA in ninth and Yale in 10th.
U.S. universities dominate the list with 44 of the top 100, followed by the UK with 10.
"Meanwhile," the Times said, "Chinese universities performed well, with Tsinghua University up to 30th from 35th place and Peking University rising to 38th from 43rd.
"The University of Hong Kong, National Taiwan University and the National University of Singapore all rose this year, while Japan has five institutions in the top 100," the Times said.
Times Higher Education is "the United Kingdom’s leading educational news publication," said UC Berkeley's news release.