LAST_UPDATESat, 21 Jul 2018 9pm

What Are Asia’s Top Ranked Universities And How Did They Get There?

Filepic: ReutersFilepic: Reuters

TIMES Higher Education (THE) released its Asia-Pacific (APAC) University Ranking 2018 earlier this month. In the respected league table, East Asian countries continue to dominate the region’s higher education sector.

Japan had the most number of universities featured (89) while China came second with 63 universities. South Korea and Taiwan had 27 and 31 institutions represented respectively.

The region’s top university is once again the National University of Singapore, followed by China’s Tsinghua University and Peking University.

Filepic: ShutterstockFilepic: Shutterstock

What makes these institutions the region’s cream of the crop?

The rankings are based on the same performance indicators as the THE World University Rankings 2018, though the methodology has been adjusted account for APAC’s rising young universities.

Over 250 universities from 13 nations were analysed based on these five broad areas: Teaching (the learning environment); Research (volume, income and reputation); Citations (research influence); International outlook (staff, students and research); and industry income (knowledge transfer).

Each area was assigned its own weighting:

Teaching (the learning environment): 25 percent

This refers to the “perceived prestige” of institutions in teaching based on the annual Academic Reputation Survey. This includes how committed an institution is to nurturing the next generation of academics, as well as the number of postgraduate research students, among others.

Research (volume, income and reputation): 30 percent

This looks at “universities’ role in spreading new knowledge and ideas”. To do so, THE referred to the average number of times a university’s published work is cited by scholars worldwide.

“The citations help to show us how much each university is contributing to the sum of human knowledge: they tell us whose research has stood out, has been picked up and built on by other scholars and, most importantly, has been shared around the global scholarly community to expand the boundaries of our understanding, irrespective of discipline,” according to the website.

Pic: Asian CorrespondentPic: Asian Correspondent

International outlook (staff, students, research): 7.5 percent

This refers to how attractive a university is to global prospective undergraduates, postgraduates and faculty. This is calculated from the proportion of a university’s total research journal publications that have at least one international co-author and reward higher volumes.

Industry income (knowledge transfer): 7.5 percent

How much a university helps industry with “innovations, inventions and consultancy”. THE’s website explains this as such: “This category seeks to capture such knowledge-transfer activity by looking at how much research income an institution earns from industry (adjusted for PPP), scaled against the number of academic staff it employs.”

- Asian Correspondent