US, UK Dominate as Asia Gains in World's Top University Rankings
A US publication, US News & World Report, also published its ranking of the world's top universities in June, this year. USN&WR rankings are not identical but quite similar to the Times list.
The number of Asian universities in the list of top 100 has increased from 14 to 16. The University of Tokyo, at 22, is the highest ranked Asian university, ahead of the University of Hong Kong that stands at 24.
Leading UK universities said institutions in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong were "snapping at the heels" of western institutions, arguing they need more funding to compete on the global stage.
However, there has been a significant fall in the number of North American universities in the top 100, from 42 in 2008 to 36 this year.
The rankings are based on an international survey of 9,000 academics who assessed the institutions' research facility, teaching quality and ability to recruit staff and students abroad.
"The broad message of these tables is clear - the leading UK research universities are held in high esteem internationally but countries like China and Korea, which are investing massively in their best institutions, are snapping at our heels" Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group of universities said.
Piatt said the UK was less well-funded than its competitors and if public spending cuts hit budgets they would be under increasing pressure.
The entire Muslim world is represented by just one university from Malaysia on the top 200 list. Other Muslim nations including Indonesia, Malaysia, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and UAE are represented by one or more institutions among the top 400 universities listed by the Times of London for 2009. Egypt, the largest Arab nation by population, is conspicuous by its absence from this prestigious list of 400 institutions of higher learning.
Here are some of the key highlights:
1. Among the top 20 universities, including one tied ranking, there are 13 American, 5 British, 1 Australian, 1 Canadian and 1 Swiss on the list.
2. Top Canadian university is McGill in Montreal, at number 18, up from 20 last year. Australian National University and ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) are ranked at 17 and 20 respectively. Another top Canadian University in top 200, University of Toronto, is ranked 29.
3. Top Asian universities are University of Tokyo at 22 (down from 19 last year), followed by University of Hong Kong at 24 (up from 26), National University of Singapore at 30, and Hong Kong University of Technology at 35 (up from 39).
4. Outside of Hong Kong, the top Chinese university is Tsinghua at 49 (up from 56), followed by Peking University at 52 (down from 50).
5. The top Irish university is Trinity College, Dublin, at 43, up from 49.
6. Two campuses of the Indian Institutes of Technology make the list, down from three in 2006. IIT Bombay is ranked 163, up from 174 last year, and IIT Delhi at 181, down from 154 last year. Beyond the top 200, there are four more Indian institutions in the top 400 list. These include IIT Kanpur at 237, IIT Madras at 284, University of Delhi at 291 and IIT Kharagpur at 335.
7. Except for UC Santa Cruz (at 252) and the relatively new campuses at Merced and Riverside (at 285), the rest of the University of California campuses are on the top 200 best universities list. UCLA is at 32, UC Berkeley 39, UC San Diego 76, UC Santa Barbara 106, UC Davis 108, and UC Irvine at 161. On a personal note, it is nice to see both of my daughters' schools, UCLA and UC Berkeley, show up among the top 50 institutions on the list. It is also a consolation to see Rutgers University, where I taught in late 1970s, ranked at 183.
8. Ranked at 181, Universiti of Malaysia is the only institution from a Muslim nation on the list, down from two in 2006. It is a sad commentary on the quality of higher education at universities in Islamic nations that renders them unable to be considered for such prestigious lists. It is not hopeless however. There are several up and coming universities in Islamic nations, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, which can move up the list if there is continued focus on excellence in higher education.
9. Beyond the top 200, there are thirteen more universities on the list of top 400 from Muslim nations. At 201, the University of Indonesia just missed the top 200 list. Saudi Arabia's King Saud University is at 247, Indonesia's Universitas Gadjah Mada at 250, Saudi Arabia's King Fahd University at 266, Malaysia's Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia at 291, Malaysia's Universiti Sains Malaysia at 314, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia at 320, Universiti Putra Malaysia at 345, Pakistan's National University of Science and Technology (NUST) at 350 (up from 376), Indonesia's BANDUNG Institute of Technology at 351, Turkey's Bilkent University at 360, Iran's University of Teheran at 386 and UAE's United Arab Emirate University at 374.
Table Courtesy of Two Wobbling Minds:
Times Higher Education Rankings
US News and World Report Rankings
Pakistan Thompson Reuters' Rising Star in Science and Technology
World's Top 600 Universities
Quality of Higher Education in South Asia
NEDUET Admissions Prospectus 2009-10
Global Shortage of Quality Labor
Nature Magazine Editorial on Pakistan's Higher Education Reform
India Invites Foreign Colleges to Set Up Indian Campuses
McKinsey Global Institute Report
Pakistan Ranks Among Top Outsourcing Destinations
Pakistan Software Houses Association
World's Top Universities Rankings
Improving Higher Education in Pakistan
Globalization of Engineering Services 2006
Center for European Reform
Reforming Higher Education in Pakistan