Despite “very tough competition” from Chinese universities this year, the National University of Singapore (NUS) remains Asia’s top university in the latest Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings released on Thursday, March 16.
This is the second consecutive year that NUS has been crowned the top university in Asia, after it first overtook University of Tokyo in 2016, Todayonline reported.
Meanwhile, Nanyang Technological University dropped from joint-second rankings to the fourth spot this year. It was overtaken by both Peking University and Tsinghua University, despite an overall improvement on its score.
The gap between NUS and Peking University has also narrowed. NUS’ overall score was 77.4 in 2016, compared to Peking’s 72.9. The overall scores of both universities saw improvement this year – with NUS at 80.6 and Peking at 77.5. NTU’s score was up from 72.9 to 74.2, while Tsinghua’s made a leap from 70.9 to 76.8.
NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan said, “We are pleased that NUS has once again been recognised as Asia’s leading university in the latest rankings by the Times Higher Education. This 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."
The larger margin of improvement seen in the scores of Chinese universities was “largely due to the Chinese universities receiving higher scores for their teaching and research environments,” said Phil Baty, editor of Times Higher Education rankings.
Still, Baty noted that Singapore’s universities are “world class.” He also added that “powerful policy drives” and investments have helped to spur research excellence here. “The city-state now spends 2.2 percent of its GDP on research and development, up from 1.8 percent in 2000 – more than China and the United Kingdom. It is one of the top performing nations in the table given its GDP.”
The top ten universities for 2017 are (in order): NUS, Peking University, Tsinghua University, NTU, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, University of Tokyo, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul National University, and Pohang University of Science and Technology.