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QS rankings highlight competitiveness of HEIs

Competition is rife amongst HEIs in emerging regions with several ‘second-tier’ universities making inroads towards the top 50, the latest QS guide has shown.

QS rankings: Nanyang Technological UniversityNanyang Technological University (Singapore) has taken the regional number spot in the Asia rankings. Photo: asianscientist.com

Eastern Europe and Central Asia is the only one of the four regions to see leaders unchanged

The 2018 edition of the QS World University Rankings by Region, which examines the performance of over 1000 universities across Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, has revealed changes to regional leaders for three of the four rankings, in addition to two new entrants to the global top three.

“Higher education in these emerging regions is truly the most competitive that it ever has been since we began such observations”

In Asia, Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University took the regional number-one spot from perennial leader National University of Singapore, which moved down into 2nd place.

Seven of India’s IITs and IISCs saw a decline in rank, while four Japanese institutions ranked 13th, 14th, 15th and 17th respectively.

Reflecting the Chinese government’s plans to have 42 top universities included in top rankings by 2050, Tsinghua University took 6th place while Fudan University was the only new entrant into the top 10 this year.

In Latin America, universities from Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica and Venezuela were among those featured in the top 50.

Mexico has two universities in the top five for the first time – Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and Tecnológico de Monterrey – while Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile took the Latin America region’s number-one spot from Brazil’s Universidade de São Paulo.

The Middle East saw similar changes to it’s leaderboard. King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals lost its top spot for the first time to Lebanon’s American University of Beirut, while Oman’s Sultan Qaboos University is the only new entrant to the top 10.

“Established hierarchies are under threat from institutions attempting to counter prestige through proactivity”

Eastern Europe and Central Asia is the only one of the four regions to see leaders unchanged. Lomososov Moscow State University of Russia held onto the top spot, while Turkey has two universities in the top 10 for the first time: Bogaziçi Üniversitesi and Middle East Technical University.

Turkish international education has been under the spotlight after the US indefinitely suspended the processing of non-immigrant visas in Turkey, impacting the travel plans of many prospective international students.

Speaking about the findings, research director at QS Ben Sowter said the key take away is that higher education in the emerging regions is more competitive than ever.

“‘Second-tier’ universities in Japan and Malaysia are making inroads towards, and into, the top 50, and Mexico and Turkey have seen record representation in the uppermost echelon of these tables. The observation? That higher education in these emerging regions is truly the most competitive that it ever has been since we began such observations,” said Sowter.

“Prominent nations such as Brazil and Singapore have also seen a changing of the guard. Taiwan’s national leader, the National University of Taiwan, sees its lead over its closest competitor reduced, as does Lomonosov Moscow in Russia.

“Established hierarchies are under threat from institutions attempting to counter prestige through proactivity,” he added.

Last week,QS announced that it has acquired Hobsons Solutions in a major acquisition that significantly expands the size of the QS business and adds 193 staff to its global teams.

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