The University of New Mexico is in the top tier of institutions of higher education globally, according to a recent report by a Saudi Arabia research and consulting group, ranking ahead of schools such as the University of Georgia, Iowa State University and the University of Kansas.
UNM was ranked at 196 out of 1,000 institutions globally and 82nd of the 224 universities in the U.S. in the list by the Center for World University Rankings. New Mexico State University ranked 577 globally and 170 in the nation. No other public New Mexico colleges were on the list.
Harvard and Stanford ranked first and second in the U.S. and internationally in the study, which broadly considered awards won by faculty and alumni, alumni employment and other factors.
“All rankings, however, must be viewed through the lens of the mission of the university and are never a goal on their own,” UNM Provost Chaouki Abdallah said. “Rather, they provide experts and the public at large different windows on the type and quality of the education of a university.”
He called it a “positive snapshot” of the university but added that “placement will fluctuate every year due to fluctuation in some of the measures and few places up or down cause no specific concern.”
UNM ranked 181 in 2015 and 185 in 2014.
The ranking organization also considered the number of publications or citations attached to the university and its output of patents. The National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Association recently included the school on its list of top 100 universities worldwide granted U.S. utility patents. The dean of the UNM School of Engineering, Joe Cecchi, told the Journal recently the school is continuing to improve.
Abdallah said the ranking is respected even though the center is a “latecomer to the rankings business.” The center, which started its rankings in 2012, also provides consulting services to governments and educational institutions that aspire to improve standards, according to its website.
The ranking comes at a time when both UNM and NMSU face budget challenges.
UNM faced an $8 million shortfall earlier this year and cut some positions to combat the shortage. At NMSU, regents trimmed employee benefits in an effort to battle its financial woes.
UNM also ranked ahead of its peers in the Mountain West Conference, a college athletic conference that includes Colorado State University, which came in at 282, and San Diego State, which ranked 376.