Best Universities in the World Under 50 Years Old

UC Irvine, UC Santa Cruz, and the University of Illinois at Chicago are among the top universities in the world that have been in operation less than fifty years, according to the Times Higher Education rankings of the “top 100 under 50.”

In all, there are eight American universities for undergraduates on the list, which emphasizes academic research and publications far more than do most college rankings.  The schools are listed below.

The Times published the list for the first time this year in order “to show which nations are challenging the US and the UK as higher education powerhouses–and offers insights into which institutions may be future world leaders.”

China has no universities listed among the “top 100 under 50,” a fact that points to a continuation of the current rush of Chinese students to strong research universities elsewhere, especially in the U.S.   The influx of these students, who pay full tuition, is an increasing and somewhat controversial source of revenue for many U.S. universities, including cash-strapped public institutions.  (We will report on this phenomenon is a separate post in the near future.)

China has only two universities in the top 100 in the world, and only nine in the top 400.

The U.K. led the list with twenty universities among the top 100 “young” institutions.  Although the Times report emphasizes the emergence of Asian universities and the U.K. prominence on the list, it is remarkable that continental Europe also has twenty-eight institutions on the list, and Australia has nineteen.   Hong Kong has four emerging universities, and Taiwan has five.

The Republic of Korea has the top emerging university: Pohang University of Science and Technology.

The U.S. universities that are on the list are below, with their “young” rank first and their overall world ranking listed next:

UC Irvine, established 1965: (4) and (86)

UC Santa Cruz, established 1965: (7) and (110)

Illinois at Chicago, established 1965: (11) and (167)

UT Dallas, established 1969: (29) and (251-275)

UT San Antonio, established 1969: (53) and (276-300)

George Mason, established 1957*: (57) and (301-350)

Maryland-Baltimore County, est 1966: (63) and (301-350)

Florida International Univ, est 1965: (84) and (unranked)

*We assume that the Times takes a liberal view of fifty years.