Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) released today its QS USA Top University Rankings 2021 list of top American universities which included The University of New Mexico at No. 74. QS released the latest and largest list of America’s top colleges containing more than 350 universities in an effort to drive diversity while enhancing employability.

UNM jumped approximately 75 spots from 2020 when it was ranked in a group from 151-160, and is the only institution in New Mexico ranked in top-100. New Mexico Tech was ranked 191-200, while New Mexico State was unranked. New York state leads the way as the most represented state, with 74 universities, while California is the next best-performing state with 38.

QS WUR 2021

Recognized internationally for their QS World University Rankings portfolio – the world’s most-consulted global rankings resource – the QS USA University Rankings are designed by QS to offer a methodology that captures the American higher education sector’s concerns and challenges by offering unique insight into diversity drivers, research excellence, and employability enhancement.

This methodology includes a foregrounded focus upon Diversity - including Faculty Gender Diversity, Number of Fulbright Recipients per Institution, and Student Ethnicity Mix – in order to provide American students, university leadership, and higher education policymakers with information about which universities are doing most to reduce sectoral gender and racial inequities.

The results indicate that many of the universities doing the most to foster stronger equity and diversity outcomes are not among the United States’ strongest research universities.

Key insights from QS’s Diversity & Internationalization indicator include:

  • Excluding the University of the Pacific, every top-100 institution in the Top 10 for Student Ethnicity Mix is a public university, indicating that public universities outperform their private counterparts in this area.
  • QS’s dataset offers evidence that some of America’s top research institutions perform less strongly when gender diversity is examined.
  • QS’s data also shows that tech-focused institutions are still lagging behind their peers in terms of widening female workforce participation.

Recognizing the intensifying focus placed by students on high-quality career outcomes in a challenging graduate employment market, the QS USA University Rankings also prioritizes employability as a key lens through which to assess institutional performance. With teaching quality also prominent in student minds when they come to choose a study destination, QS’s methodology also includes indicators that capture Learning Experience.

“While the overall QS World University Rankings continue to command record levels of interest, we are conscious that the American higher education sector is wrestling with questions that do not fall within the scope of our global rankings – questions of equity, access, representation, and social justice,” said Jack Moran, QS spokesperson. “The QS USA University Rankings exercise has been carefully crafted to shine some – independent – light on which institutions are doing most to foster the essential relationship between education and social change.”

The QS World University Rankings portfolio, inaugurated in 2004, has grown to become the world’s most popular source of comparative data about university performance. Their flagship website, www.TopUniversities.com – the home of their rankings – was viewed 147 million times in 2020, and over 79,000 media clippings pertaining to, or mentioning, QS were published by media outlets across the world in 2020.    

Full methodological details can be found at Top Universities Methodologies.

The full 2021 rankings are available at USA Top Universities 2021.