WESTWOOD—According to US News & World Reports inaugural Best Global University rankings, UCLA stands as the No. 8 university worldwide and the No. 2 public institution behind rival University of California Berkeley.

The rankings, covering 500 universities across 49 different countries, are based upon an institution’s influence in both the academic and research communities.

UC Berkeley, only ranked behind Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, stands above established titans such as Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, and Cal Tech.

UCLA has eclipsed powerhouses such as Columbia, Princeton, Yale, and the University of Chicago.

Though controversy surrounds the funding of these public institutions, including debates concerning diminished pay for staff and faculty, coupled with increases in tuition and student fees, these West-coast schools are bearing the torch for not only American public universities, but schools across the globe.