World University Rankings 2016-2017: results announced
University of Oxford snatches top spot from Caltech in this year’s World University Rankings as Asia’s rise continues..
The University of Oxford has become the first UK university to top the Times Higher Education World University Rankings in the 12-year history of the table. It knocks the five-time leader, the California Institute of Technology, into second place in the World University Rankings 2016-2017.
Oxford’s success can be attributed to improved performances across the four main indicators underlying the methodology of the ranking – teaching, research, citations and international outlook. More specifically the institution’s total income and research income is rising faster than its staff numbers, its research is more influential, and it has been more successful at drawing in international talent.
But when looking at country level, nations in Asia stand out. Two new Asian universities make the top 100 (Chinese University of Hong Kong and Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)), while another four join the top 200: City University of Hong Kong, University of Science and Technology of China, Fudan University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Furthermore, China’s two flagship universities have both made gains – Peking University joins the top 30 at 29th (up from 42nd last year), while Tsinghua University joins the top 40 at 35th (up from joint 47th). Asia’s leading institution, the National University of Singapore, is at 24th – its highest ever rank.
Meanwhile, India’s leading university – the Indian Institute of Science – is edging closer to the top 200, claiming a spot in the 201-250 band, its highest ever position.
Overall, 289 Asian universities from 24 countries make the overall list of 980 institutions and an elite group of 19 are in the top 200, up from 15 last year.
When analysing which countries achieve the highest average scores, Singapore comes top on all five of the pillars underlying the ranking – teaching, research, citations, industry income and international outlook. Hong Kong is second for teaching, third for research and fourth for citations.
Rajika Bhandari, deputy vice-president of research and evaluation at the Institute of International Education and co-editor of the book Asia: The Next Higher Education Superpower?, said that the “sharp rise” of Asia’s universities is due to three main factors: rapidly growing populations and demand for higher education in the region; governments making “significant investments” in universities; and improvements by individual institutions.
On advances at university level, she said that many Asian scholars who studied at Western universities are now academics in their home countries and have “really begun to transform their own higher education sectors”.
They have “brought back to [their] home campuses some of the teaching values of critical thinking and liberal education, as well as the idea of promotion based on merit and research outputs”, she said.
|University of Oxford
|California Institute of Technology
|University of Cambridge
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology
|Imperial College London
|ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich
|University of California, Berkeley
|University of Chicago
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