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Singapore & Thailand rise in THE Asia rankings

India has overtaken China as the second-most represented country in the THE Asia University rankings 2024, with Japan maintaining top position.
May 3 2024
2 Min Read

India has overtaken China as the second-most represented country in the Times Higher Education Asia University rankings 2024, with 91 universities compared with the neighbouring nation’s 86 institutions.

Japan has maintained its top position with 119 universities, while Mainland China takes five of top 10 positions, including first and second.

Other countries the ranking compiler has highlighted are Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, which THE says excelled in the 12th edition of the ranking.

Additionally, two Indonesia universities have “jumped up a band”, Turkey has 75 universities ranked up from 61 last year.

Overall, 739 universities are ranked from 31 countries & regions – an increase of 70 on last year.

For two decades, THE has tracked the “impressive rise” of China in the global rankings, but “what we can clearly see now is that the rising tide in Asia is lifting all boats”, said Phil Baty, Times Higher Education’s chief global affairs officer.

“Our data shows a strengthening across Asia”

While China’s leading universities now compete at the very top of the world rankings, our data shows a strengthening across Asia, where a healthy competition, more collaboration, more investment in research and university capacity and more internationalisation is driving up performance,” he said.

India’s top ranked institution and only one included in the top 100, the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore – which has partnered with Rice in the US – saw its rank rise from 48 in 2023 to 32 this year.

It all amounts to hugely positive tectonic shifts in higher education from the West to the East, with real excellence demonstrated in East Asia and South East Asia in particular and well beyond,” Baty said.

Behind Japan, India, Mainland China and Turkey is Iran, the fifth most represented country with 73 universities.

Another significant highlight is the growth of other regional powerhouses including India, Japan and increasingly Thailand, all of which show a continuous improvement in Asian countries’ higher education systems, which must be seen against the backdrop of an increasingly highly competitive higher education environment in the region,” Baty added.

Of the 70 Indian universities ranked in both 2023 and 2024, 33 have risen and 37 have seen their positions drop.

Baty said that this year’s ranking highlights some “significant improvements in Indian higher education, including in research and internationalisation, which is very promising”.

“Given the very stiff competition in Asia it is not too surprising some universities in the country fell down the ranking.”

In line with its revised World University Rankings methodology last year, THE has made updates to this year’s rankings, moving from 13 to 18 performance indicators.

As per its data, though Indian universities’ research quality metrics are above the regional averages and the underlying average percentage of international collaboration and staff have been improving, the country’s institutions underperformed in institutional, research, and industry income and patents, as well as international outlook metrics.

However, major IITs such as IIT Delhi, IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, IIT Kharagpur among others, have not been featured, with many flagging concerns with the ranking’s ‘lack of transparency with its parameters’ in 2020.

According to sources, THE has held discussions with IITs in the past to help them benchmark themselves across a range of global metrics and maximise their performance.

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