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UC San Diego Once Again Rated World’s No. 1 “Golden Age” University

Credit: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Creative Services and Publications


  • Amanda Rubalcava

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  • Amanda Rubalcava

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For the fourth year in a row, the University of California San Diego has been ranked by Times Higher Education the world’s number one university founded during the “Golden Age” of higher education. The ranking evaluates universities established between 1945 and 1967, a period in higher education characterized by rapid university expansion and increasing investment in research.

The publication ranks higher education institutions based on 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators in five areas: teaching (30%); research (30%); citations (30%); international outlook (7.5%); and industry income (2.5%).

“We are honored to continue to receive recognition from Times Higher Education,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “UC San Diego consistently receives high marks in global rankings for the exceptional work of our faculty and researchers and the wide impact of their teaching and research. Our billion-dollar research enterprise and excellence in instruction are equipping the next generation of leaders with the skills they need to collaborate with diverse thought partners from multiple disciplines in order to solve society’s most challenging issues. These skillsets are in demand in all industries."

Fostering a reputation of teaching and research excellence

As one of the world’s leading public research universities, UC San Diego is at the forefront of understanding, addressing and solving the critical issues that affect the world today. Currently, the research and scholarly activities of campus’s award-winning faculty are forging the path toward addressing the COVID-19 global health crisis. In a recent study in the journal Nano Letters, UC San Diego engineers outlined their unique approach aimed at keeping the coronavirus from invading healthy cells. The team has developed “nanosponges” that can soak up harmful pathogens and toxins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, hence intercepting the coronavirus infection.

Research conducted by Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Rommie Amaro—along with her UC San Diego colleagues and experts from Maynooth University in Dublin, Ireland—has found that the coronavirus uses a sugary-coating disguise to trick the human immune system into identifying the microbe as harmless, resulting in the body’s failure to generate antibodies to battle the virus. Scientists hope this research will add to the arsenal of knowledge needed to defeat the COVID-19 virus.

Alongside UC San Diego’s Return to Learn Program, the university’s collective efforts toward combatting COVID-19 are on the radar of public health experts across the country. As part of the program, the campus plans to broadly test its faculty, staff and students for the virus on a regular basis.

UC San Diego is also working to alleviate the widespread economic turmoil incited by the pandemic. Experts from the Rady School of Management are lending their business acumen and knowledge to local businesses that have been negatively affected by COVID-19. The newly launched Rady School Business Recovery Coalition works to provide immediate free assistance and guidance to help businesses in the region navigate the unprecedented challenges faced by the virus.

Alongside public service, teaching and research, UC San Diego is on an upward trajectory toward creating new interdisciplinary spaces for students, faculty and staff. In 2019, the University of California Board of Regents Academic and Student Affairs Committee approved the establishment of the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science. The new school will focus on prevention of disease and injury and promotion of health and well-being.

A global leader dominating higher education rankings lists

UC San Diego and its innovative programs consistently earn high marks in national and international rankings. Recently, the campus ranked sixth best among the nation’s public universities in the first-annual QS World University Rankings: USA. Furthermore, in the U.S. News & World Report 2021 guidebook of top graduate programs and professional schools, the campus’s Jacobs School of Engineering was ranked ninth best in the U.S., with the school’s bioengineering graduate program named fourth in the nation.

For more information about the Times Higher Education’s “Golden Age” university list, visit the rankings website.

For more information about UC San Diego’s rankings, visit the Campus Profile.

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