Asian Universities Gain Stature

A new university ranking savers shows that Asian university are gaining stature in the world. The QS World University Rankings: Asia 2020 crowns National University of Singapore as the continent’s top university for the second consecutive year. Its compatriot, Nanyang Technological University, has risen to 2nd, displacing the University of Hong Kong (3rd).

QS have ranked the continent’s 550 best institutions from 18 locations, according to a bespoke eleven-metric methodology. The dataset includes the world’s largest surveys of global academic and employer opinion regarding university quality, accounting for the views of over 90,000 academic faculty and leaders, and over 44,000 hiring managers.


  • Singapore reaps the benefits of investment and internationalization: while other systems across the continent strive to emulate it, Singaporereigns supreme.
  • Mainland China dominates the rankings for number of universities, with 118 in total and four among the top-ten: a remarkable progress. Until 2015, only one university from Mainland China featured among Asia’s top ten.
  • Hong Kong‘s top three universities drop one place each, whilst the next four down rise and there is even a new entry. The performance of the Special Administrative Region in the ranking has not (yet) been affected by the protracted civil unrest.
  • India boasts 96 universities including 20 new entries but none among the top-30; The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay is the top performer, placing 34th regionally.
  • Japan has endured another stagnant year. Although it has eight universities in the top-30 and 87 in total, the majority have dropped. Relative regression in the research indicators, is largely responsible for this indifferent performance.
  • South Korea, with 71 universities ranked, shows a persistent pattern of small falls, with Seoul National University dropping out of the top ten. However, there are still seven Korean universities in the top-100.
  • Malaysia continues its noteworthy progress, excelling in the reputational indicators, the international research network criterion, and internationalization metrics.
    21 of its 29 ranked institutions rise.
  • Thailand has two top-50 universities, one more than last year.
  • Also Featured in the rankings universities from the following locations: Bangladesh, Brunei, Indonesia, Macau, Mongolia, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Vietnam.

It’s good to see how Asian universities are gaining in stature worldwide as they become more globalized and more competitive.