Webster University's ranking in the just-released "America's Best Colleges" 2013 edition of U.S. News & World Report moved up from 28th last year to 24th in the Regional University-Midwest category. Webster is the only Missouri university in this category to move up four places in this year's rankings. For the second consecutive year, the University's Study Abroad programs received special recognition, ranking in the top 2 percent of the nearly 1,400 colleges and universities surveyed in the U.S. News report. Webster is one of only 33 institutions to share this distinction, which recognizes study abroad programs that involve substantial academic work abroad for credit and considerable interaction with the local culture.
U.S. News also recognized Webster for its Class of 2011 having one of the lowest debt averages upon graduation, listing it No. 4 in the Regional University-Midwest category.
For the fourth consecutive year, Webster ranks first in its category in the St. Louis area. U.S. News defines institutions in the Regional University category as those that provide a full range of undergraduate majors and master's programs. Nationwide, 579 institutions are in the Regional University category; 149 of those are in the Midwest region. Webster has been ranked a Tier 1 institution for more than a decade.
Commenting on the institutions receiving special recognition, the U.S. News report noted, "Some colleges and universities are much more determined than others to provide freshmen and all undergrads with the best possible experience, recognizing that certain enriched offerings, from service learning to learning communities to study abroad, are linked to student success. College presidents, chief academic officers and deans of admissions were invited in the spring of 2012 to nominate up to 10 institutions with stellar examples of (study abroad programs) from a list of all bachelor's-granting regionally accredited colleges. Schools that were named the most times are listed in alphabetical order."
In addition to Webster, other schools cited for their excellent study abroad programs include American University, Boston University, Dartmouth College, Georgetown University, New York University, Syracuse University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and University of Texas-Austin, according to the U.S. News report.
"This recognition of Webster University's value to our students is gratifying as we advance a vision of global academic and operational excellence," said Webster President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble. "Our students' success is the truest measure of our success, and I thank the faculty and staff of Webster University, as well as our alumni and supporters, for their commitment and support here and everywhere that Webster calls home."
"The U.S. News & World Report rankings provide an external recognition of what we already know internally — that our hard work aimed at achieving academic excellence is valued and worth the effort," said Julian Schuster, provost and senior vice president. "Our day-by-day work of reviewing curriculum, advancing our scholarship and artistic endeavors, attending to assessment, maintaining and pursuing accreditations — all of these activities play important parts in achieving academic excellence. It is fitting that President Stroble and I are receiving this information while we are visiting our China and Thailand campuses. Our Study Abroad recognition is an indicator that we are truly setting a distinct standard in global education.”
With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University is the only Tier 1, private, non-profit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential campuses. Founded in 1915, Webster University's campus network today includes metropolitan, military and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional residential campuses in Asia, Europe and North America. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.
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