UIC climbs in new Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education ranking

aerial view of campus and Chicago skylineThe University of Illinois at Chicago has earned a spot among the top two dozen public universities, according to a Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education ranking.

UIC ranked 23rd among public universities,  including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which ranked eighth among public universities and third among the Big 10 schools, according to the ranking.

The ranking is in its second year and looked at 1,054 institutions across the country. This year, UIC climbed to the 111th spot from the 127th overall spot nationally when the ranking first came out in 2016. According to the Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education, UIC ranked 21st out of 275 institutions in the Midwest region.

The rankings take into consideration four “pillars” that focus primarily on what the institutions offer students. Officials culled responses from over 200,000 surveys of students across the country to help determine the rankings.

UIC scored highest in the “environment” pillar, which looked at staff and faculty diversity, student inclusion and the proportion of international students. UIC’s score of 81.5 ranked it 40th overall.

UIC also scored highly when students were asked to respond to the surveys for the “engagement” pillar.  UIC scored an 80 in this area after the majority of students said they would recommend UIC to a friend or family member. As part of this category, students responded that they believed that the school supported critical thinking; its teachers directly supported what they were learning and made it applicable to the “real world,” and that UIC fostered an environment that allowed students to interact freely with faculty and teachers.

The survey also looked at outcomes, which took in graduation rates, salaries after graduation, reputation, and the ability to repay student debt after graduation. UIC scored 62.1, putting it at 169th among all of the institutions.

UIC enrolled a record number of students at its campus this fall, continuing a three-year pattern. This is the result of significant increases in new freshmen (23 percent) and transfer students (12 percent), resulting in an overall 8.3 percent increase in the total number of undergraduate students on campus (19,448 from 17,959 in fall 2016).

Total enrollment for fall semester, including graduate and professional students, climbed to 30,539, up nearly 5 percent from last year’s 29,120 students. This is the first time UIC surpasses the 30,000-student mark in its history. The size of the new freshmen class (4,064 from 3,307 in 2016) also surpassed the 4,000-student mark for the first time in UIC’s history.