The National University of Singapore (NUS) maintains its place as the top university in Asia, Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2017 announced on Thursday (16 Mar).
NUS held the position in 2016 for the first time since the category was introduced in 2013, overtaking the University of Tokyo.
However Nanyang Technological University (NTU) drop from joint-second to fourth position in the rankings this year. NTU was passed by both Peking University – its joint-second in 2016 – and Tsinghua University, despite improvement on its score.
NTU's score went up from 72.9 to 74.2, but Peking's rose from 72.9 to 77.5. NUS’ score rose from 77.4 to 80.6 while Tsinghua's jumped from 70.9 to 76.8.
The table is based on the same 13 performance indicators as THE’s World University Rankings, but recalibrated to reflect the attributes of Asia’s universities. The performance indicators are grouped into five areas:
- Teaching (the learning environment)
- Research (volume, income and reputation)
- Citations (research influence)
- International outlook (staff, students and research)
- Industry income (knowledge transfer)
NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan said, “The university's ranking is a strong recognition of our Asian and global approach to education and research, as well as the importance we place on making a positive impact on the nation and the community around us."
"I am grateful to our outstanding faculty and researchers, and our talented students, for their excellent efforts, and for the strong support of the Singapore government," he added.
Phil Baty, the editor of the Times Higher Education rankings said, "China’s Peking and Tsinghua universities (have) improved by a larger margin (compared to Singapore universities), resulting in their second and third rankings, respectively, this year.”
"This is largely due to the Chinese universities receiving much higher scores for their teaching and research, environments," he informed.
And NTU President, Professor Bertil Andersson said, "The competition is of course much keener when you are at the top, with many similarly dynamic and ambitious Asian universities putting up a strong fight. Some fluctuations each year are not unexpected when you are in the top league."
“I’m happy that NTU has performed better and has higher scores compared to last year. Compared to two years ago when we were placed 10th, we have made big strides up in the rankings, although not as much as last year," he said.
This year's Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings appraised the top 300 universities in Asia, with 24 countries made the list.
Japan is Asia’s top university nation overall with 69 featured institutions, followed by China with 54 and India with 33. China represented six universities, South Korea and Hong Kong both have five, and Japan and Singapore have two each.