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Stanford tops UC Berkeley in world academic rankings; UCLA rises

March 14, 2012 |  5:00 pm

In the Northern California rivalry between Stanford University and UC Berkeley, the private school just scored a small but brag-worthy victory in a world ranking of universities. And UCLA has something to crow about too.

The Times Higher Education magazine of Great Britain issued its annual World Reputation rankings of universities Thursday and it puts Stanford just above Cal, reversing last year’s order. Stanford is now the fourth most prestigious school in the world and UC Berkeley fifth, the magazine declared. Harvard, MIT and the University of Cambridge remained the top three.

UCLA rose to ninth place, from 12 last year, and UC San Francisco was 31, up from 34. However, UC San Diego dropped from 30 to 36 and UC Davis from 38 to 44.

Phil Baty, editor of the Times Higher Education rankings, suggested that state funding cuts may have hurt the reputations of some public universities in California and around the U.S. “This is bad news,” he said in a statement.

Other universities in the top 10 were University of Oxford, 6; Princeton, 7; University of Tokyo, 8; Yale, 10. Caltech was ranked 11th.

USC has moved up.  The magazine offers groupings for schools below the top 50, and in that USC was put in the 61-70 cluster, up from 71-80 last year.

The rankings are based on opinion surveys by academics around the world, with special emphasis on the reputations of schools’ research and teaching.

-- Larry Gordon