UM Ranked High in Inaugural Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings

By UM News

UM Ranked High in Inaugural Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings

By UM News
University ranks 37th out of over 1,000 institutions, scoring high marks in engagement and student diversity.

In a new ranking of U.S. colleges and universities that places more weight on postgraduate success and student learning than on metrics such as test scores and acceptance rates, the University of Miami has been ranked No. 37 out of more than 1,000 national public and private institutions, solidifying its reputation as one of the nation’s top private research universities.

The inaugural Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings, which incorporate results from a survey of 100,000 college students, also rank UM highest among all Florida schools. Stanford took the top spot in the rankings, followed by MIT and Columbia University.

Schools received an overall score out of 100. UM’s score was 78.2.

Factors measured by the rankings include outcomes such as graduation rate and academic reputation; resources such as the capacity to effectively deliver teaching; the ability to effectively engage with students; and environment, such as the proportion of international students, student diversity, and student inclusion.

“I was especially pleased to see the University of Miami do so well in the WSJ/THE ranking because the methodology gives weight to student diversity and engagement, two areas of pride and strength for our University,” said Thomas J. LeBlanc, executive vice president and provost, noting that only two institutions in the top 50 ranked higher than UM on student engagement and only five in the top 50 ranked higher on the diversity of the learning environment.

“Our aim is to assess each university’s success in achieving their educational mission, rather than focusing on a narrow set of inputs,” said Phil Baty, Times Higher Education rankings editor. “Following a year of conversation with American higher education stakeholders, we shared the Wall Street Journal’s vision for a different type of U.S. ranking system—one that does not fall into the trap of simply measuring university selectivity and wealth, but puts at its heart a university’s ability to deliver valuable outcomes and education for its students.”

Data for the WSJ/THE rankings also comes from the U.S. government, the Times Higher Education Academic Survey, and the Elsevier bibliometric dataset. The rankings included only U.S. schools that are Title IV eligible, award four-year bachelor’s degrees, and have more than 1,000 students.

Engagement, one of UM’s strongest pillars in the rankings, was determined by student survey responses to questions in four key areas: the extent to which the college or university supports critical thinking; the extent to which teaching supports reflection upon or making connections to subject matter the student has learned; the extent to which teaching helps students apply what they’ve learned to the real world; and the extent to which classes challenged students.

The undergraduate curriculum called the Cognates Program of General Education is one of UM’s strongest academic assets. The program allows students to explore the University’s array of schools and colleges by choosing cognates—sets of at least three related courses—that tap into their individual interests and career goals.

Meanwhile, UM’s residential colleges continue to support and enhance student learning through live-in faculty and student affairs staff as well as a wide range of programs, seminars, concerts, lectures, field trips, and sports and recreational activities throughout the school year.

UM’s position on the new WSJ/THE list comes on the heels of the University being ranked No. 44 in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 “Best Colleges” ratings—an improvement of seven spots from last year’s list. In those rankings, released in September, UM is highly rated in an important niche category, ranking fifth in least student debt burden among top private research universities in the nation.