KU study abroad, academic programs lauded by national publications

KU is among nine public universities in the nation cited by U.S. News and World Report for having top study abroad programs, which the publication said education experts agree on as a key ingredient to student success.

KU offers programs in approximately 70 countries throughout the world. Students can study in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia or Europe. Twenty-seven percent of KU students study abroad at some point in their time at the university. U.S. News described the selected programs as “stellar.” KU and the University of Texas were the only Big 12 Conference schools cited.

The study abroad listing was among several high rankings the university collected in the past month from U.S. News, the Princeton Review and the “Fiske Guide to Colleges.”

U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT

KU has 49 programs ranked nationally by U.S. News, including the special education and city management and urban policy master’s programs, which are No. 1 in the nation among public universities.

In its newest rankings released this month, KU tied for 47th among public research universities. Among undergraduate programs, the School of Business was ranked 35th and the School of Engineering was tabbed at 46th. Unlike with graduate programs, the magazine’s undergraduate rankings don’t list individual degree programs, only top 50 schools.

FISKE GUIDE TO COLLEGES

Once again, KU is the only school in the state chosen for the renowned “Fiske Guide to Colleges,” produced by the former education editor of the New York Times.

“No school has a better balance of academics, athletics and social life,” a student says in the 2011 edition of the guide.

Architecture and urban design, allied health, fine arts, social welfare, pharmacy, nursing, education, business and engineering are most noted for undergraduate programs, according to Fiske. The journalism school is “amazing,” according to students quoted by the magazine.

Student services also rate highly.

“The Office of Student Success, run by its own vice provost, wins praise for its academic advising and for its help with internships, disability services and extracurriculars,” the guide says.

Fiske also praises the beautiful campus, describing it as one of the loveliest in the nation, and notes the city of Lawrence also gets “rave reviews” from students who call it the classic American college town.

PRINCETON REVIEW

Engaged faculty, strong academics, affordable tuition and an active social scene combine to make the KU one of the country’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to the Princeton Review.

The education services company features the school in the 2011 edition of its annual college guide, “The Best 373 Colleges.” The publication also named KU to its list of “Best in the West” schools. Rankings are based on student surveys of issues ranging from the accessibility of their professors to quality of the campus food. Students also answer questions about themselves, their fellow students and campus life.

“The school ‘provides numerous, wonderful opportunities to every student’ through ‘the integration of tradition and new media … to form a new level of excellence,’ ” according to the guide, which includes information on academics, tuition, enrollment, financial aid and student life to assist students and their parents in selecting a college.

In the profile of KU, publishers quoted students who were surveyed regarding their opinions of the university. The students praised the University Honors Program, diverse student body and affordability as well as a lively social life and devoted fan base for athletics. The David A. Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center is described as first-rate.

“Life at KU is extraordinary. From going downtown to Mass Street to attending basketball and football games, there is always something to do in Lawrence,” one student told publishers.

Earlier this year, the Princeton Review included KU on its list of “Best Value” schools. One-hundred institutions are chosen — 50 public and 50 private — based on surveys of administrators and students at more than 650 public and private colleges and universities. The guide praised the university’s programs in communications, education, engineering, journalism, music, nursing, premedical sciences and the social sciences, attendance and financial aid — using the most recently reported data from each institution for its 2008-09 academic year.


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