World Reputation Rankings 2022: results announced

China and Japan lead the way as Asia continues to rise in global academic esteem

November 16, 2022

Browse the THE World Reputation Rankings 2022 results

Asian universities are becoming more prestigious, with Chinese institutions becoming some of the world’s strongest academic brands and Japan boosting its higher education reputation, according to the latest Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings 2022, out today.

Universities in Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea are also gaining more prestige, according to the ranking based on a survey of over 29,000 leading academics. An exception on the continent is India, which saw more universities drop down the ranking than rise.

In China, nine universities improved their reputation, while four declined in the rankings and four retained their places. Tsinghua University rose one place to ninth; Peking University climbed two to 13th; and Shanghai Jiao Tong University increased by 22 places to 28th.

Meanwhile, Fudan University, Sichuan University, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Harbin Institute of Technology, Sun Yat-sen University and Southeast University also improved.

In Japan, seven universities improved their rankings, led by The University of Tokyo, which rose three places to 10th position, and Kyoto University, which climbed up one spot to 26th. Across the country, Osaka University, Tohoku University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Nagoya University and Kyushu University all moved up group bands.

Over the past decade, both China and Japan have increased their focus on higher education. Japan began its Top Global University project in 2014, while China’s Double First-Class initiative launched the following year. The Chinese government committed – initially for five years, before renewal in 2020 – to improving higher education, selecting universities and specific academic disciplines within them to become “world-class” and win additional funding.

This year’s highest-ranked Chinese universities – Tsinghua University and Peking University – were recently given autonomy within the Double First-Class initiative to confirm their own list of disciplines for inclusion for the first time.

Tsinghua University has remained the top-ranked institution in Asia in the World Reputation Rankings for five consecutive years.

Futao Huang, professor of HE at Hiroshima University, told THE: “China has continued to increase the gross rate of HE enrolments, number of researchers, and research and development investments, which have contributed significantly to the rapid rise of its universities in these ranking systems.”

This year, the Ministry of Education reiterated its goal of securing China as a “powerful country of education” by 2035.

Japanese universities selected to be part of the Top Global University programme have until 2024 to improve their performance in terms of globalisation.

On Japan, Professor Huang added: “The number of the designated national university corporations, which are all selected universities in the Top Global University project, has grown to ten, and many more universities are making efforts to be designated. These universities’ efforts have had considerable effect on improving the global presence of Japanese universities.”

The Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings are created using the world’s largest invitation-only academic opinion survey. The Times Higher Education Academic Reputation Survey is sent annually to academics worldwide on an invitation-only basis. It is used as a component in our World University Rankings, and as a standalone in our World Reputation Rankings. There were over 29,000 respondents in 2022.

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