SINGAPORE: The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have risen to be among the top 15 varsities in the world for the first time, according to Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings for 2015/2016 released on Tuesday (Sep 15).
NUS came in 12th for QS’ global university rankings, rising 10 places from the previous year. Its Engineering and Technology, Natural Sciences and Social Science and Management faculty areas were ranked among the global top 10. The university also came in 9th globally in the Academic and Employers Reputation criteria.
NTU jumped 26 places, from 39th to 13th in this year’s global university rankings. Its Engineering and Technology faculties were also ranked 6th in the world this year, while Natural Sciences was in 15th place.
Both universities also surpassed Ivy League schools including Yale University and the University of Pennsylvania in the United States, which took the 15th and 18th places respectively. Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology emerged top in this year’s global rankings, while Harvard University came in second. The University of Cambridge and Stanford University were tied in the third place.
In addition, NUS and NTU retained the first and second spots among the top universities in Asia respectively. China’s Tsinghua University was the third best Asian university, followed by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
In their press release on Tuesday, QS said that this year’s rankings adopted a modified methodology in measuring research impact for “fairer evaluations for universities with a strong profile in areas with lower research activity, such as arts, humanities and social sciences”.
“These latest results reveal more diversity than ever in the distribution of world-class universities at the highest levels,” explained QS’ head of research Ben Sowter.
NTU’s president, Professor Bertil Andersson, said: “The old way of measuring citation disfavoured technological universities and favoured those with medical schools as citations in Engineering are typically lower than that in Medicine. That’s just the nature of research in these fields. But by adopting normalised citation, it levels the playing field for all universities as it averages the citations in each field so fair comparisons can be made.”
“As QS has made significant changes to its methodology this year, we would need to review these to understand how they have resulted in the changes in the rankings this year,” added NUS’ president, Professor Tan Chorh Chuan.
QS ranked a total of 891 institutions this year. It surveyed more than 76,700 academics and 44,200 employers, and more than 3,500 institutions were considered.