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US loses crown, Europe a mixed bag, Asia stands out: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-17

By   /  September 22, 2016  /  Comments Off on US loses crown, Europe a mixed bag, Asia stands out: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-17

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London/Mumbai: The biggest surprise in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-17, which was released yesterday (21 September 2016) globally, is the rise of the UK’s University of Oxford and fall of the US’ California Institute of Technology. Now, the US has lost its status as home of the world’s top university for the first time in the 13-year history of The Times Higher Education rankings as the UK’s University of Oxford grabbed the top place.  In Asia, 290 Asian universities from 24 countries make the ranking and an elite 19 land in the top 200. In Europe, Germany has also performed well in the table following its institutions producing highly influential research, with 41 institutions overall, 22 of which make the top 200 and nine of which make the top 100.

The Times Higher Education has published the 13th edition of its World University Rankings. This year’s top 980 universities come from 79 different countries. The calculation of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings has been subject to an independent audit by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), making these the first global university rankings to be subjected to full, independent scrutiny of this nature. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings are based on broadly four parameters:  teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

Despite  California Institute of Technology slips to second place, the USA still dominates the ranking overall, with 148 institutions in the top 980 (146 of these make the top 800 compared to 147 last year). Furthermore, within the top 200 of the ranking, several universities have improved their standing. Of the US’s 63 representatives in the top 200 (the same number as last year), 31 have risen – almost two-thirds of these (20) are public institutions – and a further 10 have remained steady. The US also has two more representatives in the top 100 – 41 compared to 39.

Phil Baty, the editor of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, said “But the US will have to watch out for Asia’s continuing ascent. The ‘higher education superpower’ has two new entries in the top 100 and a further four institutions joining the top 200, from Hong Kong, South Korea and China. Furthermore, China now has two top 40 universities, while Asia’s leading institution, the National University of Singapore, is at 24th – its highest ever rank. The US’s success cannot be guaranteed in the long-term while more of Asia’s leading universities soar to join the world elite.”

This year’s THE World University Rankings see a mixed bag for Europe, which is also increasingly under threat from the continuing ascent of Asia. Switzerland’s ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, has also cemented its position in the top 10, landing at ninth for the second year in a row; last year the institution became the first non-Anglo-American institution to make the world rankings top 10 for a decade.

Phil Baty continued: “Germany has also performed well in the table thanks to its institutions producing highly influential research, with 41 institutions overall, 22 of which make the top 200 and nine of which make the top 100. Meanwhile, the Netherlands’ 13 leading research-intensive universities have all made the top 200; it is the first time they have all made this elite group.”

Europe’s decline occurs as Asia continues its ascent. Overall six European institutions have fallen out of the top 200, with 99 now making this cohort, while Asia has four new entries in this group, bringing its total to 19. China’s Peking University joins the top 30 in 29th place (up from 42nd last year), while Tsinghua joins the top 40 in 35th place (up from joint 47th). Five of Hong Kong’s six representatives make the top 200 – more than any other Asian region – while South Korea has also made great strides. And the National University of Singapore, Asia’s top university, is at 24th – its highest ever rank.

Is Asia next higher education superpower’?  This year’s rankings show that the region’s rise is real and growing. Overall, 290 Asian universities from 24 countries make the table and an elite 19 land in the top 200, up from 15 last year. The continent has two new entries in the top 100 and a further four institutions joining the top 200, from Hong Kong, South Korea and China. China’s Peking University joins the top 30 in 29th place (up from 42nd last year), while Tsinghua joins the top 40 in 35th place (up from joint 47th). Five of Hong Kong’s six representatives make the top 200 – more than any other Asian region – while South Korea has also made great strides. And the National University of Singapore, Asia’s top university, is at 24th – its highest ever rank.

The ranking report also mentioned that India, which is outside the dominant east Asian region, has improved its standing. The country now claims 31 places in the table and its frontrunner the Indian Institute of Science is edging closer to the top 200, taking a spot in the 201-250 band, its highest ever position.

“There is no doubt that more of Asia’s leading universities will soar to join the world elite in the years to come,” added Phil Baty.

Top 25 Global Universities: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-17

Rank 2016-17 Rank 2015-16 Institution Country
1 2 University of Oxford United Kingdom
2 1 California Institute of Technology United States
3 3 Stanford University United States
4 4 University of Cambridge United Kingdom
5 5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States
6 6 Harvard University United States
7 7 Princeton University United States
8 8 Imperial College London United Kingdom
9 9 ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich Switzerland
=10 13 University of California, Berkeley United States
=10 10 University of Chicago United States
12 12 Yale University United States
13 17 University of Pennsylvania United States
14 16 University of California, Los Angeles United States
15 14 University College London United Kingdom
16 15 Columbia University United States
17 11 Johns Hopkins University United States
18 20 Duke University United States
19 18 Cornell University United States
20 25 Northwestern University United States
21 21 University of Michigan United States
22 19 University of Toronto Canada
23 22 Carnegie Mellon University United States
24 26 National University of Singapore Singapore
=25 23 London School of Economics and Political Science United Kingdom
=25 32 University of Washington United States

 

To read Skilloutlook’s story on top universities in India as per THE World University Rankings 2016-17, please follow the below link:

IISC Bangalore improves, Asia including India gains in The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-17 

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