Japan & Singapore Jostle For Top Uni Rankings

East Asian universities dominate both the Times Higher Education and Quacquarelli Symonds rankings yet again in 2015.

AsianScientist (Jun. 16, 2015) – The academic competition between Asian universities have seen their rankings move in the latest university rankings by Times Higher Education’s (THE) ‘Asia University Rankings 2015’ and the ‘QS University Rankings: Asia 2015’ by the London-based education consultancy Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

The rankings are based on a broad criteria, covering research, academic achievement and research, among others. THE bases its rankings on five areas: teaching, research, citation, international outlook and industry income. QS’ methodology looks instead at the performance indicators of the following areas: academic and employer reputation, faculty/student ratio, citations per paper, papers per faculty, proportion of international faculty and students, proportion of inbound and outbound exchange students.

Japan & Singapore lead the pack

Japan leads the THE Asian university rankings, with the University of Tokyo retaining top spot again in 2015. However, other Japanese universities took a slide this year. Kyoto University has slipped from 9th to 7th, along with the Tokyo Institute of Technology (13th to 15th), Osaka University (15th to 18th) and Tohoku University (16th to 19th).

Singapore’s universities have continued to lead in the top 10 of this year’s rankings, with the National University of Singapore (NUS) maintaining its 2nd spot from 2014. Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has moved up a spot to 10th this year.

“NUS has retained its position as the number two in Asia–but it is edging close to Asia’s number one ranked university, the University of Tokyo, and may soon overtake it… NUS is already ahead of Tokyo in its scores for international outlook and industry links–which are strong indicators of future success,” said Mr. Phil Baty, editor, Times Higher Education Rankings.

In fact, NUS has already pipped the University of Tokyo in the QS rankings, continuing to hold the top spot compared to Tokyo’s 12th place ranking. NUS received the maximum score in academic reputation, based on 42,561 responses from academics in the region, and the rest of the world, according to QS. The University is ranked Asia’s best in Social Sciences & Management as well as Life Sciences & Medicine.

The other Singaporean university in the rankings, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), climbs three places to 4th this year. NTU has continued to improve on its ranking since its debut in 2009, where it was at 14th. In April this year, the QS World University Rankings by specific subjects ranked NTU in the world’s top 50 universities for 18 fields.

Other East Asian contenders

The University of Hong Kong came in 3rd and 2nd in the THE and QS rankings respectively. Other universities in Hong Kong to make the top 10 lists include the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (7the in THE, 5th in QS), the Chinese University of Hong Kong (6th in QS) and the City University of Hong Kong (9th in QS).

Peking University and Tsinghua University have each moved up a place from THE’s 2014 rankings, coming in 4th and 5th this year respectively. Other Chinese universities also improved on their positions this year, with Wuhan University leaping from 64th to 49th and Harbin Institute of Technology (69th to 66th).

In South Korea, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) maintains its 8th position in THE’s rankings, while the Pohang University of Science and Technology (Postech) slips down a place to 11th this year. Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) is ranked at 16th, jumping up from 27th. Similarly, the University of Seoul jumped from 72nd to 49th.

However, South Korea did not fare so well in the QS rankings, with KAIST slipping from 2rd to 3rd this year. Similarly, Seoul National University’s ranking dropped from 4th to 8th.


Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine; Photo: Shutterstock.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Leonard graduated from Monash University with a degree in communications. He enjoys reading about science and nature.

Related Stories from Asian Scientist