better than all the rest

Houston school recognized as among the top institutions in the nation

Rice University has again topped a list of the best schools in the country. Photo courtesy of Rice University

Houston's Rice University continues to burnish its reputation in higher education.

A ranking released May 5 by QS Quacquarelli Symonds, a British company that specializes in higher education data, puts Rice at No. 23 among the top colleges and universities in the U.S. It's the highest-rated Texas school on the list.

Harvard University appears at No. 1 in the ranking, followed by Stanford University; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); the University of California, Berkeley; and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Elsewhere in Texas:

  • The University of Texas at Austin ranks 29th.
  • Texas A&M University in College Station ranks 64th.
  • The University of Houston ranks 66th.
  • The University of Texas at Dallas ranks 83rd.

To come up with its ranking, QS Quacquarelli Symonds looked at five factors for more than 350 colleges and universities around the country: employability, learning experience, diversity and internationalization, and research.

Here's how Rice fares in each of those categories:

  • Employability, No. 42.
  • Learning experience, No. 7.
  • Diversity and internationalization, tied for No. 32.
  • Research, No. 33.

Jack Moran, a spokesman for QS Quacquarelli Symonds, says that although the rankings "continue to command record levels of interest, we know that the American higher education sector is wrestling with questions that do not fall within the scope of our … rankings — questions of equity, access, representation, and social justice."

"The QS USA University Rankings have been carefully crafted to shine some independent light on which institutions are doing most to foster the essential relationship between education and social change," Moran adds.

More students soon will be able to take advantage of the top-rated education offered by Rice. In March, the private university announced it would expand the number of undergraduates by 20 percent by the fall of 2025. This would raise undergraduate enrollment to 4,800 and total enrollment to about 9,000.

"Rice's extraordinary applicant pool has grown dramatically despite the challenges posed by the pandemic," President David Leebron says in a news release.

Rice says the number of student applications has climbed 75 percent over the past four years. In 2020, the university received roughly 28 applications for every available slot. For the fall of 2021, almost 30,000 applicants flooded Rice, up 26 percent from the previous year.

Leebron says Rice's previous expansion of enrollment "greatly increased our national and international student applications, enrollment, and visibility. We also dramatically increased diversity on our campus, and we were able to extend the benefits of a Rice education to many more students."

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Building Houston

 
 

Houston-based HighRadius has launched a new platform. Photo via Getty Images

Houston-based HighRadius — which recently hit $1 billion valuation, reaching unicorn status — has launched a new learning platform.

Highako Academy by HighRadius, launched the platform to help credit and collections teams build certain skills faster. Highako features over 650 expert-led videos, community forums, and resources. The new on-the-job training platform, which announced its launch this week, is used by more than 2,800 companies, according to a press release.

"Our customers have asked us for an online self-service learning platform, and that led us to launch highako.com as a beta platform last year," says HighRadius COO Urvish Vashi in the release. "With 10,000+ users on the platform and a vibrant partner ecosystem consisting of credit groups, collection agencies, attorneys and industry associations, we see this echoing a larger trend of millennials and Gen Z gravitating towards microlearning platforms."

In honor of the launch of Highako Academy, the organization has announced plans for Credit SkillCon '21, a lunch-and-learn event from June 16 to July 20. The 53 live workshops, panel discussions, and on-demand sessions will focus on topics including negotiations, credit risk assessment, bankruptcy litigation, collections strategy and more. .

"We continually hear from members about wanting more and different educational options," says Jon Flora, president and CEO of NACM Business Credit Service. "The last year has changed much about how we answer this call, and now we have a solution. We are the first NACM affiliate to partner with Highako Academy."

HighRadius and its AI-powered SaaS technology, which streamlines accounts-receivable and cash-management processes, are growing fast. The company, which processes over $2.23 trillion in receivables transactions annually, per the release, raised $300 million in March. At the time of that raise, HighRadius, founded in 2006, employed more than 1,000 people around the world — and was hiring.

"Our goal has always been to build a long-lasting business that outlasts all of us," Sashi Narahari, founder and CEO of HighRadius, said in the news release. "I look forward to working with [our] high-quality, long-term investors, who share a common vision of transforming the office of the CFO using a combination of artificial intelligence built on top of connected-finance workspaces and embedded analytics."

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