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Penn has been listed as the top University in the world in the field of Nursing for the third year in a row, according to rankings by UK higher education consultancy Quacquarelli Symonds. 

Penn, which earned the top score of 96.7 points, significantly out-performed the University of Toronto and Johns Hopkins University, which came in second and third place. UT earned a total score of 92.9 points, while JHU trailed just narrowly behind with 91.7 points. 

The QS World University Rankings began putting out an annual list of the world's top universities in different subject areas in 2011. The group first started ranking nursing schools in 2016, in which year Penn Nursing was ranked first globally. It has held the top position ever since.

The ranking, which pit Penn against a hundred other universities, was based on four components: academic reputation, employer reputation, research citations per paper, and h-index. The h-index is a way of measuring both the productivity and impact of the published work of a scientist or scholar in the relevant subject or field. 

Each university's performance in these four categories is weighted and then combined to produce an overall score, QS wrote on its website

While Penn earned a perfect score of 100 points for academic reputation and h-index, it received a mediocre score of 75.5 points for employer reputation, placing it at 43rd place within the category. The University of Sydney, which had a lower overall score of 85.9 points, was the only institution to receive a perfect score for employer reputation. 

QS assigned scores for employer reputation by asking thousands of graduate employers to identify institutions they consider excellent for graduates to find jobs and institutions from which they would like to recruit graduates. 

"By examining the intersection of these two questions, we can infer a measure of excellence in a given discipline," the group's site for its methodology states

QS collected survey responses from 75,015 academics and 40,455 graduate employers worldwide for the ranking. 

Penn has also fared well in other subject areas, coming in 5th and 6th globally in Business and Management Studies and Accounting and Finance, respectively. 

Overall, Penn was ranked 19th in the 2018 QS World University Rankings.