ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A new ad by the University of New Mexico boasts that school is in the top 1.5% of universities in the world. Some say that number is misleading. Each year, the Center for World University Rankings publishes a list of top colleges. As the ad said, UNM is in the top 1.5%, but the ad doesn’t state just how many colleges UNM was stacked up against.
When most people think of a top one percent school, some big names get tossed around. “Penn State, Harvard, Berkeley,” UNM student Sarah Taylor said. “Ivy League Schools,” UNM medical student Emily Hong added.
According to a TV ad by UNM, the university ranks among the best. The ad states that UNM is ranked in the top 1.5% of universities in the world. Some UNM students and alumni said that 1.5% figure caught them off guard. “It is quite surprising,” alumnus Sandesh Dimilsina said. “I knew that UNM is a good school, but I did not know it was out of some 1.5%.”
KRQE News 13 dug into the numbers and learned it’s compared to 20,000 universities globally. “It may mislead people,” Taylor said.
KRQE News 13 asked UNM if the ad is misleading. “No,” Director of University Marketing Ethan Rule said. “I think it reflects the outstanding programs that we have.”
Rule said like most of their ads, it’s targeted to prospective students. KRQE asked if UNM feels like they are competing against these tens of thousands of universities, the majority of which many UNM prospects have never heard of or considered for college. “I would say we bring in students from around the world,” Rule said. “I would say in an industry where education is accessible globally, and we have students from around the world… We are not confined to New Mexico.”
UNM is not the only school that’s showcased its ranking on this list. New Mexico State shared an article in 2019 stating they were in the top four percent. Texas Tech shared an article in 2020 about their top two percent spot.
While some think the ad raises questions, students said it doesn’t change the fact that UNM is a great choice for school. “It is very collaborative, and people are nice here and willing to help you,” Taylor said.
UNM said this ad began running in November on local stations and in Texas. UNM ranked in the top 15 percent of the top 2,000 schools that were actually ranked in that survey. There is another bright spot in that ranking.