Asian Universities Rise In World University Rankings

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The Times Higher Education World University Rankings have been released for another year and Asia has risen sharply led by Chinese schools, reports CNN.

The World University Rankings seeks to rank the best 1,250 research universities in the world and has again been dominated by American schools.

British schools were No. 1 and 2 on the list, with Oxford and Cambridge leading the way again with Oxford topping the list as the best university in the world for the third straight year. Cambridge was second in the list for its second straight year, having first achieved that ranking in the 2017-18 rankings.

The highest ranked American school was Stanford University in California which maintained its third place from last year’s rankings. There was a shakeup between America’s two most highly rated engineering schools with Massachusetts Institute of Technology leapfrogging California Institute of Technology for fourth place.

Only one other U.K. school was in the top 10, Imperial College London down one place to ninth place, the remaining top 10 universities were all American: Harvard, Princeton, Yale and the University of Chicago.

A tradition in the rankings has been broken as Tsinghua University in Beijing became the highest ranked school in Asia, rising into the top 30 for the first time, hitting 22nd. That broke the dominance of the National University of Singapore which dropped just down to 23rd.

Tsinghua lifted the most out of any university in the top 30 and that rise came because of “improvements to its teaching environment, in particular increases in institutional income and the share of Ph.D. degrees awarded,” according to the rankings.


With tuition fees that equate to just $4,360 per year and accommodation costs of only $12 a day, Tsinghua is a rarity among the universities on the list in making itself affordable.

China also made waves in having one of the most improved universities in the rankings with Zhejiang University jumping up 76 places to sit 101st. In total, 72 Chinese schools made the rankings, up nine from the 2017-18 rankings.

There were three big losers with the U.K. dropping to the third most featured country in the list due to “stagnation and modest decline,” India was ranked outside the top 200 for the first time with its highest-rated university, the Indian Institute of Science sitting in the 251-300 band with the majority of its schools losing ground. Australia had nine universities ranked and six of those lost ground with their schools suffering due to budget cuts, the leading Australian school was the University of Melbourne at 32nd.

China and Hong Kong, in particular, were flagged by THE as countries to watch with many experts thinking that Chinese schools will be competing with the best American schools in the not too distant future.