Peter Smith

Publications, Lectures and Other Stuff

Asian Universities Rankings for 2014 [Times Higher Education system]

I reported earlier on the QS rankings for Asian universities. We can now compare them to those from the THE system [links below].

Note that the areas covered by the 2 rankings are different — THE includes the Middle East as part of Asia and QS doesn’t — so this makes a few differences to the comparisons.

A. In the THE system, the top 20 include 5 universities in Japan [6 in the QS system]; 4 in South Korea [QS 6]; 3 in Hong Kong [QS 4]; 2 each in Singapore and China [same in QS]; and 1 in Taiwan [not in the top 20 for QS]. THE also includes 3 Middle Eastern universities in their top 20 = 2 in Israel and 1 in Turkey, so we could add in another 3 universities in East Asia to compare with QS’s Asia = 1 each in Hong Kong, Korea and China.


B1. In the THE system, the numbers by country for the top 51 are as follows (There are two 50s):

1. Japan = 11

2. China = 9

J3. Hong Kong and South Korea = 6 each.

J5. Taiwan and Turkey = 5 each.

6. Israel = 3.

J7. Singapore and India = 2 each.

J9. Thailand and Iran = 1 each.

If we excluded the Middle Eastern universities [italicized] for the sake of a more exact comparison with the QS figures, we would have to add 3 universities to the totals for Taiwan and India, 2 to China and 1 to Korea.


B2. By comparison, QS’s top 50 by country are as follows:

1. Japan = 13.

J2. China = 9, and South Korea = 9.

J3. Hong Kong = 6, and Taiwan = 6.

J4. Singapore = 2, Thailand = 2, and India = 2.

5. Malaysia = 1.


C. Although there are many differences between the rankings in the 2 systems (they have different ways of measuring “quality” so that is not surprising), a number of common points seem evident.

1. The countries that have the most ‘success’ in both ranking systems are Japan, South Korea [ROK], Hong Kong, Singapore, China [PRC], and Taiwan [ROC].

2. Given their tiny population size, the rankings of the former British colonies of Singapore and Hong Kong are particularly impressive.

3. Despite its enormous size and large number of universities, India has not yet done well in any of the international ranking systems.

4. Apart from Singapore, Southeast Asia is poorly represented in these rankings — only Thailand has a university in the ‘Top 50’ in both systems; Malaysia has 1 university in QS’s Top 50.



D. As many of the readers of this blog live in Thailand, let me note that there is a sharp divergence between the 2 ranking systems for Thai universities: THE ranks KMUT as 50th in Asia and Mahidol as 82nd. By contrast, QS ranks Mahidol as 40th and Chula as 48th. Remember that the criteria for quality in the 2 systems are different so these divergencies are not surprising.


My blog post on the QS rankings:



See also:


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This entry was posted on June 19, 2014 by in Universities and tagged , .
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