Indian higher education institutes had a mixed performance in the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) rankings for Asian universities 2018. While India's representation improved to 42 from last year's 33, several of its top-notch institutions registered a decline. The National University of Singapore maintained its streak since 2016 and once again topped the list.
THE rankings for the Asian region found that the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore, the country's highest-ranked institution, and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay each dropped two places to 29th and 44th respectively due to a fall in scores. IIT Madras saw the biggest decline in the top 200, dropping 41 places to 103 in the Asia University Rankings 2018. IISc became India's top ranking institute.
"It is a fantastic achievement that India now has 42 universities in the Asia rankings and that the country has improved on 12 of the 13 metrics underlying the rankings," said Phil Baty, editorial director of global rankings at THE.
"While it has not experienced the same rapid improvement as East Asian nations such as China and while some of its institutions faced declines, India's overall rise proves that it can make advances year on year," he said.
Baty said India was still among the region's leading higher education countries even as several of its institutions have registered a decline.
China the 'star' of THE Asia rankings 2018
The main trend of this year's rankings is the continued rise of China, which now claims almost one in five places on the table. Even though India's East Asian neighbour fell short of claiming the top stop, it grabbed five out of the top 10 spots on the list.
"Mainland China, together with its special administrative region of Hong Kong, claims the second, third, fourth and fifth positions. Overall, China and Hong Kong have five of the top 10 institutions in Asia, 12 of the top 20 and 30 of the top 100," THE report on China read.
Tsinghua University, the country's top-ranked institution, comes in at number two in the overall list.
India's rise is partly due to an expansion of the table to include over 350 universities this year, up from around 300 last year. Two of the country's newcomers to make the top 200 in the list include the Indian School of Mines ranked 141 and Banaras Hindu University which is jointly ranked 194 along with Japan's Tokushima University.
India achieved a higher average score this year and, on average, its universities saw an improvement in their citation performance.
It also picked up points in other areas such as research productivity, even though it tends to lag behind on research environment. Its only area of decline was teaching reputation, the rankings analysis found.
In world rankings, 42 Indian institutes were included in the overall list, while two higher education institutes could make it in first 500 spots. IISc was ranked between 251 to 300, while IIT Bombay was ranked between 351 to 400. Britain's Oxford University topped the world ranking chart.
In the Asia rankings, while India, Japan, Pakistan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey have all increased their representation, several of their universities have fallen down on the list. Japan (82) had the most number of universities in the Asia rankings, followed by China (63) and India (42). Pakistan this time had 10 of its universities represented in THE Asia rankings, up from last years' seven.
"The South Asian region has increased its representation in the 2018 'THE' Asia University Rankings, but is struggling to maintain its standing in the face of competition from the east and south-east Asia," Baty said.
"South Asia will need to work hard to stand out among the heavy competition in the world's largest continent," Baty said.
The rankings are structured as global performance tables that judge research-intensive universities across all their core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Feb 07, 2018 15:17 PM