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The campus's character, physical beauty and location near a historic city with a diverse cultural life and commitment to preserving the environment all provide the setting for an academic community known internationally for its excellence and innovation. A member of the Association of American Universities, this vibrant, energetic campus ranks with Harvard, Stanford and UC Berkeley among the leading institutions of higher learning in the U.S. and Canada. Students know it as a friendly, welcoming place where their professors take the time to help them learn. The quality of faculty members testifies to the strength of UCSB's academic programs and the quantity and quality of its research.