China / Education

54 universities in nation rank among best

By Xin Hua in London (China Daily) Updated: 2016-09-23 10:10

Fifty-four universities from China have made the 13th edition of World University Rankings, with Peking University and Tsinghua University ranking 29th and 35th respectively.

Seven universities from the mainland are included in the top 400, and two from Hong Kong made the top 50.

For the first time in six years there is also a new No 1, as the UK's University of Oxford took the top spot from US universities for the first time in the 13-year history of the rankings.

The rankings, released on Wednesday, are published annually by Times Higher Education magazine. It includes the top 980 universities, or 5 percent of the world's higher-education institutions.

The Chinese mainland's rise can be partly attributed to improved scores for academic reputation, research influence and attracting international talent, while Hong Kong's performance is largely the result of increased institutional and research income and greater research productivity, said Phil Baty, the rankings' editor.

He attributes China's great success to one key factor: a government committed to generously funding and sup-porting the development of world-class universities.

"China's investment in excellence since the 1990s has been an example to the rest of the world, an extraordinary success story that demonstrated that with the right levels of financial support, and the political will to reform universities, outstanding results can be achieved," he said.

Baty said China can still do more to enhance higher education.

"There should be further focus on the quality of research. A key element of this should come through greater international partnerships - where the best practices from the great Chinese scholarly traditions can be combined with good practice in the West," he said.

Baty said the notion of Asia as the "next higher-education superpower" has become something of a cliche in recent years, but this year's rankings show that the region's rise is real and growing.

Overall, 290 Asian universities from 24 countries are included in the list and 19 are among the top 200, up from 15 last year. The region has two new entries in the top 100, and another four institutions - from Hong Kong, South Korea and Chinese mainland - have joined the top 200.

Peking University climbed 13 places from 42nd last year, while Tsinghua joins the top 40, up from47th last year. Five of Hong Kong's six representatives have entered the top 200 - more than any other Asian region, while South Korea has also made great strides. The National University of Singapore, Asia's top university, is at 24th-its highest-ever rank.

"There is no doubt that more of Asia's leading universities will soar to join the world elite in the years to come," Baty said.


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