SINGAPORE: The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have maintained their spots among the top 15 varsities in the world, according to Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) global university rankings for 2016/2017 released on Tuesday (Sep 6).
Last year, the two varsities rose to the top 15 for the first time, with NUS coming in 12th and NTU 13th. They retained the same positions for this year's rankings.
Both universities surpassed Ivy League schools including Yale University and Cornell University in the United States, which took the 15th and 16th places respectively.
The Singapore Management University (SMU) also made its debut in this year's edition, entering in the 431-440 band. Its highest scores were for its international faculty ratio, rating as the university with the world’s 31st most international faculty. In comparison, NTU ranked 19th worldwide for this metric, while NUS ranked 25th.
Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology emerged top in this year’s global rankings, while Stanford University overtook Harvard University to take second place. The University of Cambridge, which shared third place with Stanford University last year, slipped down to fourth place, meaning US institutions took all of the top-three places for the first time since the inaugural rankings in 2004.
QS World University Rankings 2016/17
NUS and NTU also remained the only two Asian universities in the global top 20, with China's Tsinghua University the next closest at 24th place.
QS head of research Ben Sowter said this year's rankings implied that levels of investment were determining the progression of colleges.
"Institutions in countries that provide high levels of targeted funding, whether from endowments or from the public purse, are rising," he explained.
"On the other hand, Western European nations making or proposing cuts to public research spending are losing ground to their US and Asian counterparts."
NTU President Bertil Andersson said Singaporeans should be proud that it was the only country other than Switzerland to break the UK-US duopoly among the top global universities.
“Singapore and Switzerland are similar in many ways -- both are small but smart nations," said Prof Andersson.
QS ranked a total of 916 institutions this year. It surveyed more than 74,600 academics and 47,700 employers, and more than 3,800 institutions were considered.