- The number of Indian and Malaysian universities in the new rankings has more than doubled
- The biggest gainer in terms of number of universities is Japan at 69. Almost 50% of Japanese universities are in the bottom third with less than 20% in the top 100. In 2009, 33 Japanese universities were in the top 100 list
- 24 of the top 100 are Chinese
- All six Hong Kong universities are in the top 50
THE released its Asia University Rankings 2017 on 15 March 2017, with an additional 1001 universities from 24 countries. The first ranking available on THE’s website is from 2013, with 100 universities from 15 countries. In 2016, the list doubled and Elsevier data replaced Web of Science. Only 13 countries have been on the list every year. Going further back, there is a 2009 Asian ranking of 100 universities from the days when THE and QS were producing joint rankings. 11 countries were included, with none from western Asia. One third of those top 100 were from Japan.
The number of Indian and Malaysian institutions included in the 2017 rankings have doubled from 2016. Malaysia had one university ranked in 2013, disappeared from the rankings in 2014 and 2015 and has nine this year. If you look more carefully at the numbers, India’s share of the list rose from 7% to 11% while Malaysia’s dropped from 5% to 3%. Most importantly, the University of Malaya is participating for the first time.
This leads to our caveat. More universities do not mean that the relative quality of the institutions has improved. Table 1 (Copy-of-THE-Asia-2017-Table-1-Comparisons.xlsx) includes the countries represented in the rankings in 2013, 2016 and 2017, the total number of institutions ranked and the top institution by country. For 2016 and 2017 it compares the number of institutions in the top 200. Only China, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have added institutions to the top 200. However, only four of India’s additional institutions, out of 17, made it into the top 200 ranks. The table also compares the top 100 from 2013 and 2017. This table shows that while the number of Japanese institutions grew from 22 to 69, the number in the top 100 dropped to 12.
Register for the Digital Supplement (Baty,15 March 2017) for a full list of universities with their 2016 and 2017 Asia rankings, world rankings and scores on the key indicators
THE uses the 13 indicators from THE World University Rankings. The indicators are reweighted to reflect “the priorities of Asian Institutions”
To be included, an institution must teach undergraduates (as well as graduate students), have at least 1,000 articles published between six and two years prior to the rankings date (2011-2015 for 2017), have a minimum of 150 each year and not focus on just one subject area. The one measure that contributes most to the score is number of Citations (30%) which is adjusted for country, subject and number of authors.
QS is the only other ranker with regional rankings that use modified indicators. The latest QS Asian rankings were in June of 2016, covering 351 institutions. QS and THE both have rankings of BRICSs. The latest QS release was July of 2016 and included 251 BRICS, with 87 Chinese universities and 44 from India. Times Higher Ed BRICS list, published 30 November 2016, includes 300 universities from 41 BRICS and emerging economies.
In addition to giving leading universities more bragging rights, repurposing the data provides different subsets for benchmarking for all universities.
The next Ruth’s Rankings is on Malaysia, where we will look at the changes in Malaysian rankings and policies in more detail. The next News Flash is U-Multirank, coming out in the beginning of April.
1. The projected top 300 only includes the 298 universities that met the criteria listed above in Methodology.
Baty, Phil (15 March 2017). Asia University Rankings 2017: A diverse region rich with potential. Register and claim a copy of the digital supplement, Asia 2017 https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/asia-university-rankings-2017-diverse-region-rich-potential
Bothwell, Ellie (16 March 2017). Asia University Rankings 2017: Results Announced https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/asia-university-rankings-2017-results-announced
Ruth’s Rankings News Flash! is written by Ruth A. Pagell, currently an adjunct faculty [teaching] in the Library and Information Science Program at the University of Hawaii. Before joining UH, she was the founding librarian of the Li Ka Shing Library at Singapore Management University. She has written and spoken extensively on various aspects of librarianship, including contributing articles to ACCESS – orcid.org/0000-0003-3238-9674.