LONDON – Three Asian universities made the top 30 for the first time in an influential ranking of the world’s top 1,000 institutions released Tuesday.
The National University of Singapore moved up two places from last year to tie at No. 22 — its best ranking to date — while China’s Peking University climbed two spots to tie at No. 27 and Tsinghua University jumped five spots to reach No. 30, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
Britain’s Oxford University once again topped the list, now in its 14th year, with the University of Cambridge at No. 2 for the first time. The California Institute of Technology and Stanford University tied at No. 3.
The University of Tokyo, Japan’s top institution, fell seven places to No. 46, its worst-ever performance, with researchers attributing the results to a lower proportion of Ph.D.s, a worsening student-staff ratio and falling research productivity due to a decline in funding.
Next in line for Japan was Kyoto University, which tied at No. 74, up 17 places over last year. A total of 71 Japanese institutions were on this year’s list, 14 of which were new entrants.
“The rise of China in this year’s table is remarkable and demonstrates the way the global higher education landscape is changing,” Phil Baty, editorial director for global rankings at Times Higher Education, said in a statement. He noted that two Chinese schools were listed in the top 30 for the first time.
He added that East Asian nations will need to work hard to stay competitive as China “soars to join the global elite.”
Baty said the University of Tokyo’s continued decline is “a worrying trend” and called on the institution to “diversify its funding streams to remain a key global player in higher education.”
More than half of Japanese universities’ annual revenue comes from government expenditures, but national funding for higher education declined by 12 percent between 2004 and 2015, researchers said.
The comprehensive global rankings assess institutions on several factors including teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industry income.