THE Asia-Pacific University Rankings 2018: as the ground shifts, the air is electric

China’s determination to launch its universities to the top drives a dynamic region, Phil Baty writes

June 27, 2018
Lightning strike
Source: Getty

Browse the full Times Higher Education Asia-Pacific University Rankings 2018 results

The tectonic plates of global higher education are shifting.” That was the message from Ian Jacobs, president of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, when Times Higher Education launched the first THE Asia-Pacific University Rankings last year. Our data continue to provide evidence for his assertion.

In the 2018 THE World University Rankings, published in September 2017, some 71 universities from Japan made an appearance in our top 1,000 list. Also making the running were 60 universities from China, 26 from Taiwan and six from Hong Kong. South Korea had 27 representatives in the table. That number of regional entrants is quite an accomplishment, but perhaps even more impressive is the fact that the increased quantity is in general being matched with improving quality. China, for example, had two universities in the global top 30 for the first time, and other leading national institutions improved their performance and climbed up the rankings.

There is no doubt that East Asia, and the wider Asia-Pacific area, has well and truly emerged as a new global powerhouse for higher education and research.

One academic who recently left Australia for a position in China has experienced this profound shift for himself. When he arrived at Beijing’s Tsinghua University from the University of Melbourne in Australia, the higher education professor Hamish Coates got a feeling that he was at the “epicentre” of global higher education.

“There’s enormous governmental, public and cultural support,” he tells THE. “Within Beijing alone, there are dozens of universities doing first-rate work. You cannot live here without being affected by that, because the commitment to education and progress is so palpable.”

It is this tangible commitment to education – backed by serious investment and political will – that convinced THE to produce an Asia-Pacific ranking.

While our more established Asia University Rankings rightly cover the entire continent of Asia in all its glorious but stark diversity (covering the increasingly influential universities of the far west of Asia, those in the Gulf, as well as the struggling but strengthening Central and South Asian institutions), these newer rankings focus directly on the most dynamic and most closely watched region for research and innovation – Asia-Pacific, covering East Asia, the Asean countries, as well as their neighbours Australia and New Zealand.

As the world increasingly looks to this region for investment, innovation and inspiration, THE is delighted to bring its rich data on the region into closer focus.


Countries represented in the Asia-Pacific University Rankings 2018

Country/region

Number of institutions

Top institution

Rank

Japan

89

The University of Tokyo

12

China

63

Tsinghua University

2

Australia

35

University of Melbourne

4

Taiwan

31

National Taiwan University

37

South Korea

27

Seoul National University

14

Thailand

10

Mahidol University

101–110

Malaysia

9

University of Malaya

61

New Zealand

8

University of Auckland

=27

Hong Kong

6

University of Hong Kong

5

Indonesia

4

University of Indonesia

191–200

Singapore

2

National University of Singapore

1

Macao

1

University of Macau

=62

Philippines

1

University of the Philippines

151–160

Please login or register to read this article

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments