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Asian Universities climb up the ranking ladder

Each year, a survey is conducted to assess universities worldwide.

The results of this survey are compiled to form the Times Higher Education reputation rankings.

This list ranks the best Universities in the world from 1 to 800.


First, let’s go over the list of the top 10 performing universities:

  1. Harvard University, United States
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
  3. Stanford University, United States
  4. University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  5. University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  6. University of California, Berkeley, United States
  7. Princeton University, United States
  8. Yale University, United States
  9. Columbia University, United States
  10. California Institute of Technology, United States

United States at the Top

Clearly, the United States is dominating the World University Rankings with eight institutions in the top 10.

Officials in the United Kingdom point out lack of funding and immigration issues, as causes for the drop in ranking for their two top schools.

Cambridge and Oxford both lost two spots from last year’s rankings to the current list.

However, the presence of the United Kingdom in the top 100 ranked schools is still strong with 10 Universities making the list.

Two UK schools, the University of Bristol and Durham University, dropped out of the top 100 this year.


An important factor to consider in this year’s list of rankings is the rise of Asian universities

These are the top-rated Asian universities on this year’s list:

12) University of Tokyo, Japan

18) Tsinghua University, China

21) Peking University, China

26) National University of Singapore, Singapore

As Western countries have slowed the influx of foreign students and immigrants due to security concerns, Asian universities are recognizing the need to boost the reputations of their schools.

This has resulted in an increase in published works from the faculties of Asian universities, and an increased focus on research funding.

Many Asian schools are now basing pay raises on publishing and research performance for their faculty members.

As Asian economic power continues to grow, the increasing demand for high-quality education grows along with it.

Look for this trend to continue in the near future.


Australian universities also on the Rise

When we look closely at the Times Higher Education World University Rankings as a whole (the top 800), there are several more conclusions we can draw from the data.

There are more countries included in the ranking list than ever before, with 28 countries in the top 200, and 48 countries in the overall list.

Australia is a country that performed especially well in this year’s list of rankings.

They have 31 universities total in the overall list.  Eight of their universities made the top 200, while fourteen more fell into the 200 to 400 range.

Three Australian universities to make the list for the first time are The University of Southern Queensland, RMIT University, and the University of Canberra.

Australian authorities credit an increased focus on attracting researchers and research dollars, with raising performance on this year’s list.


India and China

China performed well with a whopping 37 universities named to the top 800 list.

India had seventeen institutions named to the list, with two in the top 400.  India’s top two schools are the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.


Newcomers – Malaysia & Indonesia

One country that cracked the coveted list for the first time is Malaysia.

Five Malaysian schools were named to the top 800.  They are the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi MARA, and Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Industry experts point to an increase in published articles by faculty and improving the quality of research activities, as the central drivers to Malaysia’s increased performance on the list.

Malaysia has also recently rolled out a project to emphasize research at higher education institutions, to catch up with Thailand and Singapore.

To encourage research dollars even further, the Malaysian government has been withdrawing funding to force schools to find alternate funding in the form of research grants.  If Malaysia continues on its present course, future performance on the list should continue to improve.

Another newcomer to the list is Indonesia, whose University of Indonesia made the list ranked at 601.  Indonesia also seeks to replace government funding, which is currently 33 percent of all funding for higher education, with money from industry.

Indonesia is focusing on the fields of computer science and engineering as a source for much-needed investment.  Indonesia has a particularly bright future, especially in manufacturing.  The country is modeling itself after China and South Korea as it seeks a modern economy with world-class universities.

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Nigel Nolan - Managing Consultant, Sandbox Advisors

Nigel has vast experience in Training & Development, Facilitation, Lecturing, General Management and Operations. In addition to an educational background in philosophy, psychology, theology and communications, he has advanced qualifications in business, adult education and coaching.

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