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U.S News rankings reveals top US institutions for study abroad programs

The U.S. News & World Report has unveiled its 2021 Best Colleges rankings, with Princeton University maintaining its spot as the highest-ranked university nationally.

rankingsPrinceton University was ranked the country's top institution nationally. Photo: Pixabay

31% of students at The New School are international, the highest in the country

The New School in New York was shown to be the national university with the highest proportion of international students, while Elon University in North Carolina grabbed the top spot for study abroad programs.

The overall rankings look at outcomes (40%), faculty resources (20%), financial resources (10%), excellence (7%) and alumni giving (3%) at over 1,800 institutions across the US, while also providing separate rankings that look at areas such regional universities and specific programs.

“Kalamazoo College sends students to 56 programs in 29 countries on six continents”

The top five universities nationally were revealed to be Princeton, Harvard, Columbia, and a tie for fourth place between MIT and Yale.

Two of this year’s rankings looked more closely at university internationalisation: one which measured international students as a proportion of the entire student cohort and another focused on study abroad programs.

The New School in New York, which was founded in 1919, was reported as having the highest proportion of international students at 31%. The top 10 institutions nationally overall had an average proportion of 12.6%, according to the U.S News data.

Soka University of America was revealed to be the national liberal arts college with the most amount of international students (45%) while Suffolk University was the top in the regional university category with 20%.

For the second consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranked programs at universities and colleges that offer well-regarded study abroad, service-learning and other special programs linked to student success.

Elon University in North Carolina grabbed the top spot followed by NYU and Middlebury College. Kalamazoo College in Michigan, which was ranked fifth for study abroad programs, said that 70% of their students participate in study abroad programs.


“Kalamazoo College sends students to 56 programs in 29 countries on six continents,” a spokesperson explained.

“Most students study abroad during their junior year. They integrate into the local culture and language, often as part of the daily lives of a host family or with local students in the dorm.”

In terms of overall rankings, at the University of California five campuses were among the top 10 best public universities and all nine campuses were in the 2021 Best Colleges top 40.

“While 2020 has been a difficult year in so many ways, we have nevertheless seen record enrolment, [and] a rise in external rankings of the institution,” said UC Merced chancellor, Jian Sánchez Muñoz.

“Our research is increasingly recognised by [the National Science Foundation] and other funding agencies and is now also heading to Mars. We are proud to join our sister campuses as the best of the best of higher education in America.”

Meanwhile, The University of Texas at Austin rose six spots to 42 in the national universities list, the highest rank for the University of Texas since 1985.

It ranks 13th nationally among public universities and is considered the top university for veterans.

“These rankings are an acknowledgement of the hard work and brilliance of so many members of Longhorn Nation — students, faculty and staff — and they are also a product of the profound investments the university has made in recent years in academic excellence,” said UT Austin interim president, Jay Hartzell.

“I’m proud to see the progress we’ve made, but I also know that this extraordinary university has the potential to climb even higher and accomplish even more — as far as I’m concerned, we’re just getting started.”

President Wayne A.I. Frederick of Howard University further praised the changes in the ranking’s methodology that recognised schools’ efforts to promote social mobility.

“An individual’s socioeconomic status should not preclude talented students from obtaining a higher education,” he explained.

“It remains our mission to continue providing students and their families with the tools they need to help find the right school for them”

Kim Castro, editor and chief content officer of U.S. News highlighted that the pandemic has affected students across the country, cancelling commencement ceremonies and switching classes from in-person to remote.

“Whether students have slightly altered their college plans or changed them entirely, it remains our mission to continue providing students and their families with the tools they need to help find the right school for them,” she added.

Globally, the latest QS World University Rankings saw nearly three-quarters of universities in the US drop in the rankings, with only 34 American institutions seeing improvements.

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