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Korea Leads Rankings of Universities Under 50 Years Old

Pohang University of Science & Technology in South Korea led a global ranking of the top 100 universities less than 50 years old, a list that features institutions from 30 countries.

The U.K. had the most colleges on the list, with 20, and had three in the top 10, followed by Australia with 14, according to a statement today from Times Higher Education, a London-based magazine that compiled the rankings. The U.S. had nine schools in the top 100, including two in the top 10: the University of California’s campus in Irvine was fourth, while UC Santa Cruz was seventh.

The list is an offshoot of the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings, which are led by the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena, and features seven U.S. colleges in the top 10. A list of the top universities founded since 1962 shows which nations have made the greatest strides in developing their higher-education systems and which universities might hold the most promise, said Phil Baty, the editor of Times Higher Education Rankings.

“We’re looking for future stars,” Baty said in a phone interview. “Some of these institutions have done remarkably well in a matter of decades, and the potential is there. There’s a real sense that many of these nations are poised to steal America’s crown.”

Three of the top five universities under 50 years old are in Asia, reflecting the region’s investment in higher education, Baty said.

Asian Universities

Pohang University, known as Postech and based in Pohang, was founded in 1986. Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, which opened in 1991, was ranked third, and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, founded in 1971 in Daejeon, was fifth.

There are no universities from mainland China in the rankings because China has chosen to invest in its older institutions rather than develop its newer ones, Baty said.

The number of the U.K. schools on the list reflects the country’s investment in higher education since World War II, he said.

The top-ranked U.K. school was the University of York, which came eighth, followed by Lancaster University in ninth place and the University of East Anglia, in Norwich, in 10th.

Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne ranked second overall. Macquarie University in Sydney and the University of Wollongong were the top Australian schools, tying for 33rd.

Other U.S. universities to make the list were the University of Illinois at Chicago; the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, based in Newark; the University of Texas at Dallas; the University of Texas at San Antonio; George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; and Florida International University in Miami.

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