Strong Showing For Singapore & Hong Kong In 2014/2015 QS Rankings

Singapore and Hong Kong universities ranked highly in the 2014/2015 Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, aided by strong internationalization performance.

AsianScientist (Sep. 16, 2014) – Five out of the nine Asian universities to make it to this year’s Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Ranking top 50 are based in the small island economies of Singapore and Hong Kong. Indian universities, however, remain unable to crack the top 200, with top ranked Indian Institute of Technology Bombay coming in at 222nd place.

The top two Asian universities, ranked 22nd and 28th, were the National University of Singapore and the University of Hong Kong respectively. Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University also posted a strong showing, reaching 39th place, up from 41th and 47th in the previous years. Following closely behind was the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (40th) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (46th).

The other four Asian universities to make the top 50 are the University of Tokyo and Seoul National University which jointly hold 31st position, 36th ranked University of Kyoto and lastly, China’s Tsinghua University which came in at 47th.

Unlike other rankings which are more publication focused, the QS rankings analyze both hard data in terms of citations per faculty (20 percent), faculty to student ratio (20 percent) and international student and staff ratio (5 percent each), as well as soft data in terms of surveys of both academics (40 percent) and employers (10 percent).

The publishers of the rankings point to Japan’s relatively poor performance on internationalization indicators to explain the dearth of Japanese universities in the top 50 despite their traditionally strong academic rankings and research output.

“Whereas institutions from Singapore and Hong Kong in particular have succeeded in attracting top international academics and students in vast numbers, Tokyo ranks outside of the top 100 in three of the four internationalization indicators used to create the QS University Rankings: Asia. This pattern is reflected across the rest of Japan’s institutions, as the sector struggles to fulfill its ambition of doubling its intake of international students to 300,000 by 2020,” the publishers noted.

“This internationalization gap has coincided with a failure to keep up with the pace of change across the other indicators, as Japan struggles to bounce back from the aftermath of the financial crisis, in contrast with the economic dynamism enjoyed by much of the rest of the region.”


Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: Erwin Soo/Flickr/CC.
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Rebecca did her PhD at the National University of Singapore where she studied how macrophages integrate multiple signals from the toll-like receptor system. She was formerly the editor-in-chief of Asian Scientist Magazine.

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