THE Asia-Pacific University Rankings 2017: this is where the action is

The extraordinary dynamism that characterises higher education in East Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania merits detailed analysis, says Phil Baty

July 4, 2017
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View the full results of the Asia-Pacific University Rankings 2017


This is Times Higher Education’s first Asia-Pacific University Ranking. So why now?

Well, as Simon Marginson, director of the Centre for Global Higher Education at the UCL Institute of Education, points out in our opening analysis, the region is already larger than Europe and the UK in terms of student numbers and research spending. “And one day it will become as important as the US and Canada,” he predicts.

Quite simply: “The Asia-Pacific region is the most dynamic in the higher education world,” Marginson declares.

While THE’s annual World University Rankings and its Asia University Rankings combine to give us clear insights into the region, we believe that it is time for a sharper focus on this unique and exciting part of the world.

While the Asia University Rankings cover the whole and exceptionally diverse continent of Asia, including Central and Southern Asia, as well as the Middle East, these rankings give a close-up of the countries of East and Southeast Asia, home to some of the world’s strongest research nations. In recognition of rapidly growing higher education, research and business links with Australia and New Zealand, of course assisted by geographical proximity and shared time zones and the increasing two-way traffic of talent, we have included Oceania in the mix.

In total, 38 nations are included in the analysis, covering what the United Nations describes as East Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania (and the World Bank groups into East Asia and the Pacific). Some 13 feature in the overall ranking of more than 200 institutions.

This new ranking uses the same comprehensive and balanced range of 13 separate performance indicators as the overall World University Rankings – and the data are drawn from the 2016-17 world rankings, published in September 2016. But the weightings of each indicator are adjusted in line with our Asia rankings – giving a little less weight to reputation, to reflect the generally younger profile of East Asian institutions, and putting more weight on the ability of institutions to attract research income from industry, in recognition of the power of universities as economic drivers.

The result is a new picture of the strengths of and, more importantly, the opportunities afforded by what many see as one of the most important higher education and research regions in the world.

As Ian Jacobs, president and vice-chancellor of the Sydney-based University of New South Wales, puts it: “The tectonic plates of global higher education are shifting.” It seems that East and Southeast Asia, combined with the more traditional powers of Australia and New Zealand, are set to become the main beneficiaries. 


Countries represented in the Asia-Pacific University Rankings 2017

Country    

Number of institutions in the 2017 ranking

Top institutions

Rank

Japan

69

University of Tokyo

9

China

52

Peking University

2

Australia

35

University of Melbourne

3

Taiwan

26

National Taiwan University

33

South Korea

25

Korea Advanced Institute of Science
and Technology (KAIST)

13

Thailand

9

Mahidol University

101-110

New Zealand

8

University of Auckland

24

Malaysia

7

Universiti Putra Malaysia

121-130

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

121-130

Hong Kong

6

University of Hong Kong

6

Singapore

2

National University of Singapore

1

Indonesia

2

Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB)

201+

University of Indonesia

201+

Philippines

1

University of the Philippines

201+

Macao

1

University of Macau

61

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