Arts, Humanities Take Center Stage in Times Higher Education Ranking

The University of Arizona 2018 Graduate String Quartet:  Tiezheng Shen, Diana Chiknaikin, Stella Kim and Laura Cásarez.

The University of Arizona 2018 Graduate String Quartet: Tiezheng Shen, Diana Chiknaikin, Stella Kim and Laura Cásarez.

(From left)

The University of Arizona is one of the world's top institutions for arts and humanities studies, according to Times Higher Education.

The university ranked No. 80 out of 536 colleges and universities worldwide in Times Higher Education's World University Rankings 2020 By Subject, released Wednesday. It is the university's highest appearance in the publication's arts and humanities list since 2017. Times Higher Education began ranking colleges and universities by subject in 2011.

The university placed No. 28 in the U.S. and No. 11 among all U.S. public institutions.

"In order for students to succeed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, they will need an education that includes a strong emphasis on a broad-based experience that will develop leadership, communication, creative and critical thinking skills,” said UA President Robert C. Robbins. "This is why our tradition of excellence in the arts and humanities is one of the foundational elements in our strategic plan. I am proud that these rankings reflect our commitment to fostering a culture of creativity and humanistic scholarship."

Times Higher Education's arts and humanities subject ranking highlights the higher education institutions that lead the way in art, performing arts, design, languages, linguistics, literature, history, philosophy, theology, architecture and archaeology. The subject areas are part of the College of Fine Arts, the College of Humanities and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona.

The subject rankings are based on the same range of 13 performance indicators used in the overall World University Rankings 2020, but the methodology is recalibrated for each subject to suit the individual fields. The performance indicators are grouped into five areas:

  • Teaching (the learning environment): 30%
  • Research (volume, income and reputation): 30%
  • Citations (research influence): 30%
  • International outlook (staff, students and research) 7.5%
  • Industry income (knowledge transfer): 2.5%

The university's best scores came in citations, research and teaching.

"The University of Arizona is home to many of the field's most bold and forward-thinking educators and researchers," said Alain-Philippe Durand, dean of the College of Humanities. "With a global focus and emphases on multilingualism and digital humanities, the College of Humanities seeks to create an atmosphere where critical thinkers and adaptable problem solvers can truly thrive."

In January, Andrew Schulz, dean of the College of Fine Arts, was named the inaugural vice president for the arts to carry out the reimagined vision of the University of Arizona and Tucson as an international destination for fine arts. In this role, Schulz has worked to further integrate the arts into the university curriculum while also designing and implementing strategies to raise the profile of the arts within the campus community as well as regionally, nationally and internationally.

The university has also created a new division, Arizona Arts, which includes the four schools within the College of Fine Arts and five arts presenting and engagement units. This unique combination of the academic and presenting units provides cross-disciplinary learning and collaboration opportunities for our students and faculty.

"It is gratifying to see the quality of our academic programs recognized in this important international ranking," Schulz said. "As we work to integrate the arts throughout the university, and make the University of Arizona an arts destination, student success remains our primary objective. A key element in that regard is ensuring that we continue to provide our students with world-class training in arts and humanities disciplines. That work is made possible by the tireless efforts of our outstanding faculty."

In the overall Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020, released Sept. 11, the university placed No. 104 – a 55-spot leap over the university's position last year. The university ranked No. 42 among all U.S. colleges and universities and No. 20 among public institutions.