China has reinforced its dominance in the Times Higher Education BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings 2016, claiming half of the top 10 places.
Beijing-based Peking and Tsinghua universities have taken the top two spots for the third year in a row, while the University of Science and Technology of China, Zhejiang University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University rank seventh, eighth and 10th, respectively.
Overall, China is the most-represented nation, with 39 institutions in the extended top 200 list of higher education institutions in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and 30 other “emerging economies”.
The other BRICS nations have also performed well this year, albeit to a lesser extent, with 14 Brazilian and 15 Russian institutions, including Lomonosov Moscow State University in third place, featuring in the table.
India is the third most-represented nation in the list, behind China and Taiwan, but is the only BRICS nation without a university in the top 10. The Indian Institute of Science leads the country’s 16 institutions in 16th place.
Although South Africa has just six universities represented, it is the only country outside China with more than one institution in the top 10; the University of Cape Town is fourth and the University of the Witwatersrand is sixth. Stellenbosch University lies just outside this elite group in 11th place.
Countries outside the BRICS nations have also made progress. The National Autonomous University of Mexico is the highest-ranked Latin American institution outside Brazil, in 23rd place, while the Czech Republic has five institutions in the top 100, up from two last year.
Phil Baty, THE rankings editor, said the table provides an “extraordinary case study in what can be achieved in only a couple of decades, where significant money and political will can be brought to bear”.
“It can’t be long now until China’s universities join the world's upper ranks, but there remains a question mark over whether governments in other markets have the sustained investment in their leading universities to match China’s performance,” he added.
In total, 35 countries feature in the top 200, including 16 for the first time, such as Romania, Greece, Nigeria, Kenya and Qatar. Mr Baty said this partly reflects the decision to expand the list from 100 to 200 universities and to increase the number of countries eligible for inclusion to 48. This is because countries defined by the FTSE as “frontier economies” have been included, in addition to “advanced emerging” and “secondary emerging”, as in previous years.
The THE BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings use the same 13 performance indicators as the flagship World University Rankings but are recalibrated to reflect the development priorities of universities in emerging economies.
BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings 2016 results: top 10
|3||Lomonosov Moscow State University||Russian Federation|
|4||University of Cape Town||South Africa|
|5||National Taiwan University||Taiwan|
|6||University of the Witwatersrand||South Africa|
|7||University of Science and Technology of China||China|
|9||University of São Paulo||Brazil|
|10||Shanghai Jiao Tong University||China|