Washington Monthly, which ranks universities based upon social mobility, research production and commitment to service, has ranked the University of Washington eighth among national universities for 2012.
Aside from issue-specific rankings, such as Sierra Magazine’s sustainability ranking that had the UW fourth this year (and first last year), this is the highest the UW has ranked in a national or international ranking of the nation’s universities.
“Washington Monthly’s rankings attempt to measure what colleges and universities are doing for the nation,” said UW President Michael K. Young. “We are delighted to be ranked in the top 10 of American universities in this regard. This is what we — especially public universities — should be doing for our students and their communities: providing accessible, affordable, high quality education that makes a difference.”
The magazine is releasing its findings Aug. 27. Last year, the UW was ranked 23. The University of California, San Diego, was ranked first for the second consecutive year.
The magazine recognizes social mobility by recognizing universities that offer a cost-effective education and enroll, as well as graduate, a significant percentage of low-income students.
Research production includes research activity by faculty and also the percentage of undergraduate alumni who go on for doctoral degrees.
A school’s performance in community service includes a number of measures: enrollments in ROTC programs, alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps, use of federal work-study money for community service projects, total student participation in community service and the number of academic courses that incorporate service.
“The more expensive college becomes,” according to the magazine’s editors, “the more students are encouraged to see higher education as a mere return on investment. The students in our best colleges are taught by example and design to look beyond themselves and give back.”