Times Higher Education have crowned Japan the top Asian country for studying at higher education level, with a total of 22 Japanese institutions taking their place in the top 100 Asian universities. The University of Tokyo led the way, topping the rankings this year with an overall score of 78.3.
The top 100 Asian universities saw 15 nations make the rankings, with East Asia showing its excellence across the board with: 17 Taiwan institutions, 15 from mainland China and 14 in the Republic of Korea. Others which featured include: Singapore, Malaysia, Lebanon, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Thailand, India, Hong Kong and Turkey.
The top 10 are:
1. University of Tokyo (Japan),
2. National University of Singapore (Singapore),
3. The University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong),
4. Peking University (China)
5. Pohang University of Science and Technology (Republic of Korea)
6. Tsinghua University (China)
7. Kyoto University (Japan)
8. Seoul National University (Republic of Korea)
9. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Hong Kong)
10. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Republic of Korea)
These universities are of a world-class standard, and provide amazing research opportunities, although there are a number of specialist institutions in the rankings that did not make it into the top 10, or even the top 20.
Institutions are ranked using specific criteria that looks at; teaching, international outlook of staff and students, industry incomes, the research carried out at the university and its reputation, and its citations in the field of research influence.
Japan has the strongest selection of research universities, although it has had a 25-year head start on its neighbouring countries, opening its doors to applicants significantly earlier.
Although Japan came top this year, other institutions across Asia are coming close to achieving the same as their Japanese equivalents. The National University of Singapore came a close second, followed closely by The University of Hong Kong. Hong Kong had a total of four universities ranked in the top 20.
Higher education in Japan has stopped growing at the rate it previously had which is allowing neighbouring countries in Asia and their institutions to receive more recognition. It is believed the international network of Japan is too limited and that this, along with its funding which is being beaten by that provided by the regional rivals, has led to the fall in growth.
China may be best placed to match or surpass Japan’s achievements on the international education stage, if not in the future overtake Japan as Asia’s number one. The top six Chinese institutions in the table are described as China’s ‘Ivy League’ and it is these places of higher education that are set to rifle Japan for the top spot. These universities are part of an elite group of institutions, which receive specific focussed funding from the central government to carry out its research and support students. With such a force as the Chinese government behind them, we fear not only for the Japanese institutions that they will potentially overtake, but also for the established powerhouses of international education – the British, Australian, and American universities.
Whilst we are focussing generally on the movements at the top of the table, it is also worth mentioning that in countries such as South Korea, universities are rising up the rankings. Whereas before research institutes under government power overshadowed them, now these universities are really starting to shine.
On the whole, universities and institutions in Asia are really beginning to give the Western world something to worry about. We’ve already spoken about the increase in quality within Asian universities, and these latest figures, whilst isolated to Asia, paint a similar picture. Asia is on the rise in the international education market.
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