Chinese universities are leading Asia’s rise in global university rankings, though the top 10 list is dominated by leading institutions in the United Kingdom and United States.
British universities Oxford and Cambridge remain at number one and two respectively in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, with US institutions dominating the top 100 places in the list.
Stanford maintained its position as the highest ranked US institution in 3rd place, alongside Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at 4th, and California Institute of Technology at 5th.
However, Japan has overtaken the UK as the second most represented nation in the table with 103 universities, up from 89, as the UK shows signs of “stagnation and modest decline.”
China is leading the eastern hemisphere’s surge with one its universities becoming the top institution in Asia for the first time in the rankings of the best 1,250 research universities around the world.
Tsinghua University in Beijing has overtaken the National University of Singapore as the top institution in Asia, after rising eight places to 22nd, representing the greatest rise in the top 30. NUS dropped from joint 22nd to 23rd, according to the Times Higher Education (THE) website.
“Tsinghua’s rise was driven largely by improvements to its teaching environment, in particular increases in institutional income and the share of PhD degrees awarded,” said THE.
Simon Marginson, professor of higher education at the University of Oxford, was quoted as saying that he was “not surprised” by Tsinghua’s advance.
“It’s easily the number one university in the world for high citation research in mathematics and computing — a combined field in which China has now moved well ahead of the US and, further back, Europe. It is near the top of the world, and rising fast, in physical sciences and engineering,” he said, according to THE.
The university could also give most western higher education institutions a run for their money in terms of post graduate application costs, charging modest tuition fees of RMB 30,000 ($4,360) per year and RMB 40 to 80 per day ($4 to $12) for lodging in a single room.
Earlier this year, Elsevier’s Scopus database of scholarly research found that China’s rapidly improving performance might see it match the US by the mid-2020s.
Another rising Chinese star is Zhejiang University, in the country’s south, which climbed 76 places to 101st.
The five metrics underpinning the rankings are teaching, research income, research volume, industry income, proportion of international students and proportion of international staff.
Overall, 72 Chinese universities make the 2019 ranking, up from 63 last year.
THE said the University of Hong Kong remains “the region’s flagship,” moving up four places to 36th.