Sun, Mar 18, 2012 - Page 2 News List

NTU makes big strides in university world rankings

PULLING POWER:The jump up the league tables should help National Taiwan University pull in more overseas students, especially from Southeast Asia

Staff Writer, with CNA

National Taiwan University (NTU) has leaped up the world rankings for the quality of its teaching and research, according to the results of the latest Times Higher Education (THE) survey.

NTU moved up two brackets, from the 81st to 90th best to the 61st to 70th best range. It was the only Taiwanese university to make it into the top 100 in the latest THE World University Rankings.

Harvard University tops the latest THE survey. The US has seven of the top 10 universities and 44 of the top 100 — the most of any country among those surveyed. In this year’s survey the top 50 universities were each assigned an individual ranking and a numerical score for reputation, while those outside the top 50 were grouped into brackets, eg, 51st to 60th, without being assigned a specific score.

Thanks to a five-year, NT$50 billion (US$1.69 billion) government program, NTU has also been moving up in other world rankings, including the UK’s QS World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities compiled by Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University, an NTU official said.

Only 0.5 percent of all universities in the world made it into the top 100, so NTU’s climb up the league table should boost the country’s efforts to recruit overseas students, especially from Southeast Asia, Chern Ji-wang (陳基旺), NTU’s dean of research and development, was quoted as saying by local media. The progress in the THE rankings was in line with the university’s expectations, but NTU has set its sights on making the top 50, Chern said.

NTU has a good international reputation for the quality of its research, with academic papers regularly published in the more prestigious international journals and cited by academics worldwide said Phil Baty, an editor of the survey.

The relative rankings among individual universities did not change much from last year, but colleges in East Asia have shown steady upward progress, including schools in Taiwan and China, Baty said.

Compared with universities in some Western countries, which have been trimming educational spending because of economic uncertainty, Asian governments are boosting their best universities with special funding, he said.

After Harvard at No. 1, Massachusetts Institute of Technology placed at No. 2, followed by the UK’s University of Cambridge at No. 3, Stanford University at No. 4 and the University of California at Berkeley at No. 5.

The top-performer in Asia this year was Japan’s University of Tokyo at 8th, followed by the National University of Singapore, which climbed from 34th to 23rd this year. Next were China’s Tsinghua University, which advanced from 35th last year to 30th, and the University of Hong Kong, which edged up from 42nd to 39th, while South Korea’s Seoul National University leaped from 109th to the 51-60 bracket this year.

The survey shows that Asian universities are gaining more clout, but it will take time for them to surpass their counterparts in the West, Baty said. The survey was conducted over the past 12 months, and 17,500 academics from 137 countries were asked to give their views on the teaching and research performance.

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