China, India universities rise up the QS rankings

2024-06-06 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Western universities have continued to lose their grip on the QS World University Rankings, as institutions from China and India have improved quickly.

China had several universities in the top 100 of this year's rankings, which look at the achievements of the world's best 1,500 institutions in terms of academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty-student ratios, sustainability, employment outcomes, and international research networks.

Peking University was China's best, in 14th place, three up from last year's 17th. The University of Hong Kong rose to 17th from 26th last year, and Tsinghua University rose to 20th from last year's 25th.

India also had a very good year, with 91 percent of its 46 ranked universities either improving or remaining stable.

In contrast, two-thirds of universities in the United States slipped down the QS rankings this year.

Ben Sowter, a senior vice-president at QS, said changes in the world order seem to be on the way.

"If one were to tell a story of the last two decades of global higher education, it would be of the US managing to remain pre-eminent … amidst intensifying ambition from Asia's great powers. This year offers the starkest signal yet that there is no guarantee whatsoever that the US' privileged position can withstand this ambition indefinitely."

Despite the pressure from Asian institutions, many long-established Western universities also had a good year.

Imperial College London overtook fellow British elite institutions the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge, rising to second place from last year's eighth.

Imperial, which specializes in business, engineering, medicine, and science, improved largely because of its environmental work and now sits behind the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which has been in first place for 13 consecutive years.

The fact that Imperial is now rated higher than both Oxford and Cambridge will have been disappointing for them, given they were rated first and second among UK universities throughout the rankings' 20-year existence.

Cambridge currently sits in fifth place, overall, after having been second last year and Oxford is in third. The US' Harvard University is fourth.

With University College London in ninth place, four UK universities made the top 10, but around half of the nation's universities lost places.

Hugh Brady, president of Imperial College London, said: "Imperial's ranking is a testament to the quality and commitment of our entire community. It is inspiring to see our students, staff, and partners come together every day to interrogate the forces that shape our world and address the challenges facing humanity and our planet."

The data collected by QS is spun into several listings. One, which grades institutions on their academic reputation alone, placed Harvard University in first place, with the University of Oxford in second, and the University of Cambridge in third.

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