US continues to lose its grip as institutions in Europe up their game
The world dominance of universities in the US has further waned in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-2016, despite the fact that the country boasts almost a fifth of institutions in the table.
A total of 147 US universities feature in the top 800 – the largest THE rankings to date – including the California Institute of Technology, which claims pole position for the fifth consecutive year.
However, there are signs of decline for the traditional Western powerhouse lower down in the table. The US now has 63 universities in the top 200, down from 74 last year, and 77 the year before. Six of these make the top 10, compared with seven last year; after Caltech, these are: Stanford (third), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (fifth), Harvard (sixth - its first time outside the top four in the rankings’ 12-year history), Princeton (seventh) and the University of Chicago (10th). The UK’s universities of Oxford (second), Cambridge (fourth) and Imperial College London (eighth), and Switzerland’s ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ninth) fill the rest of the top 10.
“Europe appears to be becoming more competitive at postdoctoral stage – the point where the US has long been overwhelmingly dominant in global flows of talent,” he added.
However, he warned that the UK’s position in the rankings may decline “over a decade or so” if it continues to be “semi-paralysed by immigration policies”, while an exit from the European Union would have “sharper, earlier effects”.
“Research depends on the free movement of both ideas and people, and countries that adopt a more closed stance pay the price in the end. This is a prime cause of the substantial long-term declines in the global position of research in both Japan and Russia,” he said.
Overall, institutions from 70 countries, 29 more than last year, feature in this year’s rankings, with several countries including Indonesia, Bangladesh and Kenya being represented for the first time.
Asia gains new number one
The National University of Singapore is the number one institution in Asia – the first time the city-state has claimed the continent’s top spot in the rankings’ 12-year history.
NUS is in 26th position overall in the rankings, with the next highest Asian institutions – China’s Peking University and Japan’s University of Tokyo – taking 42nd and 43rd place respectively.
Overall, this year’s rankings results provide a mixed picture for Asia; while China’s performance remains steady, with the country claiming 37 institutions in the top 800, including two in the elite top 50, Japan and South Korea have both fallen down the list. Japan has just two institutions in the world top 200, compared with five last year, while South Korea has just one in the top 100, down from three.
But despite its diminishing performance, Japan still has strength in depth: it is third place in the world in terms of the number of institutions represented, with 41 appearing in the top 800.
“Tough times for Japan and disappointment for South Korea mean that leading Asian nations’ grip on the higher ranks of the THE World University Rankings is loose,” said Phil Baty, THE rankings editor.
“Many institutions, particularly in East Asia, have been focusing heavily on attaining world-class status, backed with funding and powerful political will. But this ranking demonstrates how difficult a task this is, as universities right across the world continue to improve.”
Below are the 37 Chinese Universities listed by The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-2016 announced on 30 Sep 2015.
|Rank||Name of University|
|201-250||University of Science and Technology of China|
|301-350||Shanghai Jiao Tong University|
|351-400||Sun Yat-sen University|
|401-500||East China University of Science and Technology|
|501-600||China Agricultural University|
|501-600||East China Normal University|
|501-600||Harbin Institute of Technology|
|501-600||Huazhong University of Science and Technology|
|501-600||Renmin University of China|
|501-600||South China University of Technology|
|501-600||Xi’an Jiaotong University|
|601-800||Beijing Institute of Technology|
|601-800||Capital Medical University|
|601-800||China University of Geosciences (Wuhan)|
|601-800||China University of Petroleum (Beijing)|
|601-800||Dalian University of Technology|
|601-800||University of Electronic Science and Technology of China|
|601-800||Northwestern Polytechnical University|
|601-800||Ocean University of China|
|601-800||University of Science and Technology Beijing|
Source - The Times Higher Education