China’s Tsinghua University attains the number one spot in the Times Higher Education (THE)’s Asia University Rankings 2019, becoming the first Chinese university to secure top spot in the rankings, released on Thursday.Tsinghua University replaced the National University of Singapore, which led the table since 2016, dropping to second position this year, due to large scores of the former in the teaching environment, citation impact and international outlook categories. Tsinghua varsity secured an overall score of 83.1, attaining 94.2 in research, 99.8 in industry income and 85.9 in teaching.
The National University of Singapore secured an overall score of 81.5, scoring 95.5 in international outlook, 78.9 in citations and 89.9 in research. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology now leads the special administrative region of China for the very first time, climbing two places to third due to advancements in industry income and international outlook categories. The varsity secured 98.0 in international outlook and 93.8 in citations category respectively.
The University of Hong Kong attained the number fourth spot in the list, with an overall score of 76.5 and 99.7 in international outlook and 82.0 in research. Other universities in the list included Peking University (fifth), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (sixth), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (seventh), The University of Tokyo (eight), Seoul National University (ninth) and Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) (10th).
Overall, 72 Chinese universities booked a spot in the ranking this year, up from 63 universities last year, while 16 of its 26 higher education institutes secured a steady spot in the top 100. However, the only exception this year was Peking University which dropped two places and secured 5th position, due to declining scores in the industry and research income.
Moreover, HKU is still top in the World University rankings (Asia region) due to differences among the metric weightings in the two tables by THE. Research productivity, research income and industry income have more pertinence in the Asia rankings, while teaching and research reputation count for less. This shows that Asian universities are relatively younger than their western competitors and hence are not well-known internationally.
Japan, still reigns Asia as the most-represented country in the ranking, with 103 institutes, up from 89 in 2018. However, while the top three Japanese universities held steady spots in the list with better performance indicators, the gap between the elite institutes and the rest of the higher education sector appears to be widening, with majority of their lower-ranked institutes declining.
Malaysia also made its debut in the list, with the University of Malaya rising eight places and securing joint 38th position in the rankings. Overall, six of the nine Malaysian universities that secured a place in 2019 and 2018 increased their overall scores to book a spot among the top Asian universities. Indian universities performed well this year, with 49 universities attaining a spot in the rankings this year.
As many as nine Pakistani universities were named among the top 500 higher education institutes in the Asia Rankings 2019. COMSATS secured the 131st spot, with an overall score of 32.8, with 63.2 in citations and 45.5 in international outlook. NUST also secured a spot in the top 200-250 universities of the world, with 34.1 in industry income and 37.5 in international outlook.
Other Pakistani universities in the list included University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (251-300), University of Lahore (301-350), Bahauddin Zakariya University (351–400), University of Engineering & Technology (UET) Lahore (351–400), Government College University Lahore (351–400), PMAS Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (351–400) and University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore (351–400).