Students, some with their parents, wait to enroll for the new semester at
Tsinghua University in July 2013. Liu Huaiyu / China Daily
World expects these institutions to play a critical role in future, education expert says.
Two prestigious universities in China have moved up a world university ranking, which education experts said is a result of China's continuing efforts to improve higher education and make universities more attractive.
In the recently released Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2015, Tsinghua University moved to 26th place from 36th the previous year, and Peking University rose nine places to 32nd.
"This is a strong performance by China. Its two leading institutions have made gains in the reputation rankings, reflecting the country's commitment to developing world-class universities," Phil Baty, the list's editor, was quoted by Xinhua as saying.
"China's growing stature should lead to further improvements, as a strong reputation helps universities to attract and retain more global talent and investment," he said.
Baty's judgment was echoed by Wang Huiyao, director of the Center for China and Globa lization, a think tank in Beijing. Wang said the rising world reputation of the two universities reflected China's growing impact in the world. "China has an impact on many aspects, including scientific research, and innovation and the GDP are growing. And the two prestigious universities, as pioneers and representatives of China's research and innovation, will reflect the growth directly," Wang said.
"A rise in the ranking position will undoubtedly add to Tsinghua University's and Peking University's attraction to international students and scholars, as well as domestic students," Wang added.
Jiang Guohua, the academic committee director of the website cuaa.net, who has researched university ranking for years, agreed.
"Instead of saying that the world is appreciating the two Chinese universities, I would rather say the world is positive about the future of the Chinese economy," Jiang said. "Against such a backdrop, people believe that Peking University and Tsinghua University will play a more critical role in the future."
Wang attributed the rise of the two universities' positions in the ranking to the government's attention and support, as well as the efforts made by the universities themselves.
Statistics released by a research center at Shanghai Jiao Tong University last year showed that Tsinghua University, with more than 12 billion yuan ($1.9 billion) in funds each year-of which 4 billion yuan is used for research - topped all the universities in China. Peking University was also among the group of universities that enjoyed the largest amount of funding.
"This is a big deal, compared with many prestigious universities around the world," Wang said.
"Efforts the universities made in aspects such as supporting academic research, hiring top-class talent from around the globe and promoting international exchange and cooperation are also important factors," he added. However, Jiang said people shouldn't be too excited about the rise.
Xinhua said the 2015 World Reputation Rankings, based on 9,794 responses from 142 countries, differ from the annual Times Higher Education World University Rankings in being based on subjective judgment of teaching and research experts.
"It's a ranking based on peer review," said Jiang. "It has significance. But a ranking that measures their research ability and contribution is of greater importance. In that sense, both Peking and Tsinghua have much more to do in order to be recognized as top-class universities of the world."
Source - China Daily