U.S. News & World Report adds three new criteria to rank schools.
Earning a national ranking regardless of the criteria is a notable achievement, and Texas Tech University has fared well in a variety of rankings recently.
For the Office of International Affairs and vice provost Sukant Misra, the latest distinction carries a little more pride because of a new set of criteria.
Seeking to delve deeper into why some of the best universities in the United States rank highly, U.S. News & World Report created a new sub-set of criteria and recently unveiled the Top Universities for International Students.
Texas Tech is in the top 10 percent of the 1,800 schools ranked. The university is one of nine Texas schools and among seven peers from the Big 12 Conference that landed in the top 10 percent.
“Our ranking reflects the reality that we are an international-friendly campus,” Misra said. “We welcome our international students with open arms, we value their presence on our campus and we provide a myriad of services and resources for them to be successful academically and socially.”
To determine the rankings, U.S. News & World Report integrated three primary new criteria into the information the publication generally uses for college and university rankings:
- Graduation and retention rates for international students
- Availability of English as a Second Language (ESL) programs
- Grant aid available to international students
A story published by USNewsGlobalEducation.com noted the new criteria is important because of the comparatively high costs for international students to attend college in the U.S., the variety of unique social and academic challenges international students encounter and the need for year-round housing for international students until they can be self-supportive.
The focus on international students is important because of an estimated $36.9 billion that segment of college students contributed to the U.S. economy in 2016-17, according to NAFSA: International Association of International Educators. International students are also tied to more than 450,000 jobs created or supported in the U.S. Demand also is a factor: The number of international students studying in the U.S. has doubled since 2001, according to The Power of International Education.
“Societies around the world are increasingly becoming internationally diverse every day,” Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec said. “It is important that we develop the global competencies of our students through their educational experiences at Texas Tech to prepare them for the future. Our international student population, along with the entire student body, plays an important role in our rising stature internationally.”
Earlier this year, the university moved up to No. 437 in the Center for World University Rankings, an increase of 63 positions over the previous year. The ranking places the university among the top two and a half percent of the world's universities.