UC Irvine ranked first among U.S. universities under 50 years old – and seventh worldwide – in a report released April 30 by Times Higher Education. UC Irvine has been the top U.S. university and in the top 10 worldwide each year since the THE’s “100 Under 50” rankings were introduced three years ago. UC Irvine will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2015 and is the youngest institution in the prestigious Association of American Universities.

“We are pleased to be named – for the third year in a row – the number one university in the nation under 50,” said Chancellor Michael V. Drake. “And we’re certainly not stopping here as we approach our 50th anniversary in 2015. UC Irvine has stellar students, faculty, staff, programs, and research that will make us a powerful and innovative educational force as we continue to grow and thrive.”

Performance benchmarks used in the prestigious Britain-based rankings 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.

“The Times Higher Education ‘100 Under 50’ is a hotlist of the world’s most dynamic and exciting young universities,” said Phil Baty, rankings editor. “The list contains many global superstars, including some of the most exceptional and well-funded East Asian institutions, so to make it into the top 100 is a significant achievement in itself. I would like to congratulate UC Irvine on its impressive performance once again this year, retaining its position as the highest-placed U.S. institution, and consolidating a top 10 place in the world despite significant increasing opposition.”

One trend evident in this and other world university rankings is the emergence of universities as global collaborators in health and technology research. To plan and support its worldwide collaborations, UC Irvine has created an Office of Global Engagement, which is aiding efforts to accelerate the university’s international reach. Within the past two years, it has forged agreements with institutions in Israel and South Korea, adding to continuing relationships with many others around the world, including in Norway, Poland and China.

UC Irvine also has launched a number of collaborative research efforts that will focus on addressing contemporary and complex health and environmental issues. These initiatives in sustainability and in exercise medicine and sports science will foster and support new and continuing multidisciplinary work on campus and with community partners.

This year, UC Irvine has created the Institute for Innovation, an interdisciplinary campuswide center focused on integrating research, entrepreneurship and technology to create real-world applications that benefit the public and drive the economy. With initial funding through a $5 million endowment from the Beall Family Foundation, the institute is envisioned to be an epicenter of innovation by creating a vibrant, interconnected and self-sustaining community of students, scholars, industries and entrepreneurs.

For more news about the Times Higher Education “100 Under 50,” go to: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/2014/one....

-Tom Vasich, University Communications

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