Asian universities are rising in the rankings.
When it comes to university rankings, the UK – followed closely by the US – continues to top the league tables. Unsurprisingly, well-known institutions such as the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge (placed at numbers 1 and 2 respectively in the 2019 rankings) remain the apparent best institutions in the world. US universities at the top of the tables include Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, and Harvard University.
Check out the THE World University Rankings where you will find ranking information for the years 2011 to 2019 inclusive.
While UK and US universities may have their places at the top of the rankings, it is looking like this may not be the case forever. In fact, universities in Asia are fast approaching these coveted spots at the top of the tables. Japan is actually the country with the highest number of institutions in the THE ranking, which includes 1,250 universities in total from around the world. According to the ranking, Tsinghua University in Beijing, China is the best university in Asia; coming in at 22nd place – an impressive rise of 8 places from 2018. Tsinghua is heavily invested and highly reputable in research covering the areas of computing and mathematics, and this may be the reason for its rise in the tables.
Other Asian third level institutions making their way up the rankings include the National University of Singapore and Zhejiang University in China. If such institutions continue to rise at the same rate, they could within a few years be competing for top 10 ranking positions traditionally dominated by UK and US universities.
Considerably less-expensive costs of living and studies in various parts of Asia could be a reason for many US and UK students to turn their back on their home universities and head east.
Recently the world of higher education has seen that rankings and reputations are not always as they seem. Traditional opinions – such as those held about UK and US universities – may no longer be correct, and these institutions are, clearly, facing competition from new places.
As we have seen at EDUopinions, German universities are the top-ranked universities in Europe according to student reviews – surprisingly gaining the edge on UK universities. This view of German universities is reflected in the THE 2019 rankings, too. Several German institutions saw themselves advance in the rankings even from 2018 to 2019, such as; LMU Munich going from tied 34th to tied 32nd place, University of Freiburg going from 82nd to 76th place, the University of Tübingen going from 94th to 89th place, and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin jumping an impressive 36 places from joint 126th in 2018 to 90th in 2019.
So, many long-held opinions about world-renowned universities are starting to change, with more high-level options becoming available to students. In all, it’s healthy to see the institutions always at the top be challenged. With so much competition on a global level, this can only mean that universities will not get comfortable and will continually strive to be at their best.