THE Young University Rankings 2019: adjust your picture

The look of success can be fresh-faced as well as weathered and time-worn, Phil Baty writes

June 26, 2019
Male silhouette facing wall of television screens
Source: Corbis

Browse the THE Young University Rankings 2019 results


We all know what a world-class university looks like, right?

They are old, having had at least a couple of centuries on which to build a formidable reputation. They are rich, having accumulated property, wealth and generous philanthropic gifts from generations of alumni and admirers. They sit in the heart of great cities, woven into the infrastructure and the architecture.

Well, we are wrong, wrong and wrong again, according to the compelling evidence from the 2019 edition of the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings – featuring universities aged 50 years and under – and our related analyses of “Golden Age” institutions founded after 1945 and the post-2000 “millennials”.

Ranked in first place in the THE Young University Rankings is The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. HKUST was created from scratch in 1991, less than 30 years ago. That it was founded some eight decades after the University of Hong Kong did not stop HKUST overtaking its neighbour in the 2019 THE Asia University Rankings, or making it into the overall world top 50 against much older institutions in the 2019 THE World University Rankings.

As for affluence, consider the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which is ranked 12th in the world among the under-50s. Despite reporting total assets of $4.8 billion (£3.8 billion) for 2016-17 – some 10 times smaller than Stanford University’s equivalent figure – its relative lack of wealth has not stopped it making the global top 200 in the overall World University Rankings.

And where are great institutions found? Those we cover hail from a gloriously diverse range of places: from HKUST’s picturesque hillside site in Clear Water Bay, 30 minutes from Hong Kong’s centre, to Northumbria University, in the heart of Newcastle in the north east of the UK.

This analysis of young universities challenges our preconceptions of what a “great” university is. The data help us to understand those institutions that have broken traditional moulds and excelled despite a relative lack of wealth, heritage and reputation. The analysis also helps us to identify the next generation of rising star institutions poised to challenge the old guard.

THE is delighted to bring forward these insights to help us navigate the dynamic and changing world of global higher education. 

Phil Baty is chief knowledge officer at Times Higher Education.


Countries/regions represented in Young University Rankings

Country/region    

Number of institutions in top 300

Top institution

Rank

United Kingdom

34

Brighton and Sussex Medical School

36

France

24

Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris

4

Australia

22

University of Technology Sydney

13

Spain

22

Pompeu Fabra University

11

India

21

Indian Institute of Technology Indore

68

Turkey

14

Sabancı University

48

Iran

13

Babol Noshirvani University of Technology

66

Taiwan

13

National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taiwan Tech)

93

Egypt

12

Beni-Suef University

151–200

Italy

12

Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies – Pisa

7

Germany

11

University of Duisburg-Essen

14

Japan

11

Tokyo Metropolitan University

101–150

Brazil

10

Federal University of Pelotas

201–250

 

 

São Paulo State University (UNESP)

201–250

Malaysia

10

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia

101–150

 

 

Universiti Teknologi Petronas

101–150

 

 

Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)

101–150

Portugal

8

University of Aveiro

101–150

 

 

NOVA University of Lisbon

101–150

South Korea

8

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)

6

Chile

7

University of Desarrollo

101–150

 

 

Diego Portales University

101–150

United States

7

University of Alabama at Birmingham

12

Algeria

6

University of Béjaïa

201–250

China

6

Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech)

55

Pakistan

6

COMSATS University Islamabad

151–200

Republic of Ireland

4

Maynooth University

50

United Arab Emirates

4

Khalifa University

38

Canada

3

Concordia University

101–150

Czech Republic

3

University of Ostrava

251–300

 

 

Tomas Bata University in Zlín

251–300

 

 

University of West Bohemia

251–300

Finland

3

Aalto University

18

Greece

3

University of Crete

76

Hong Kong

3

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

1

Jordan

3

Jordan University of Science and Technology

91

Morocco

3

Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University

201–250

Saudi Arabia

3

Alfaisal University

43

South Africa

3

University of KwaZulu-Natal

85

Sweden

3

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

36

Tunisia

3

University of Sfax

251–300

 

 

University of Tunis El Manar

251–300

Austria

2

Medical University of Graz

30

Belgium

2

University of Antwerp

22

Cyprus

2

Cyprus University of Technology

63

Denmark

2

Aalborg University

18

Israel

2

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

101–150

 

 

University of Haifa

101–150

Russian Federation

2

Higher School of Economics

60

Thailand

2

Suranaree University of Technology

201–250

Note: excludes countries with only one ranked institution

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