New institutions have edged past the traditional IITs in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2019.
The country is led again by the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, which retains its position in the 251-300 band. But in an impressive debut entry, the nineyear-old Indian Institute of Technology, Indore (IIT-Indore) became India’s second highest-ranked university — and a global top 400 institution — with its scores buoyed by research volume and research impact. IIT-Indore overtook IIT-Bombay, which slipped from the 351-400 to 401-500 banding.
Another surprise this year has been Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreeswara University, Mysore, which is among the top five Indian institutes and is ranked among the top 500 global universities.
Globally, Oxford University claimed first position for the third consecutive year, also topping the list for its the research pillar (volume, income and reputation). Cambridge retained the second spot, while Stanford in the US holds steady in third.
India again increased its presence, claiming 49 places this year, up from 42 – the fifth best-represented nation in the world, but a majority of institutions either stagnated or declined in the 2019 table.
In a statement issued to THE, Pradeep Mathur, director of IIT Indore, said: “Our efforts in making research the focus of the institute is now reflected in the form of citation and other impact metrics of research. We continue to make research the focus of all our programmes which is why you see even our undergraduate students are active participants of research projects and collaborations within India and internationally too.”
Among the previously ranked Indian institutions, Amrita University saw an impressive rise in the 2019 table-—from the 801-1,000 band to 601-800 this year —with particular improvement in its citation impact (research influence) score.
Phil Baty, editorial director of Global Rankings for THE, said: “India is bursting with innovation and ambition. The nation has serious potential to grow into a leading player in global higher education. But while it increases its presence again in this year’s table, the majority of its universities remained immobile or declined, struggling against increased global competition - particularly from east Asia. Sustained investment, a continued drive to attract leading global talent, and a strengthened international outlook will be key to boosting its global reputation and research influence. Its current higher education reforms could be key to helping institutions progress.”
The United States remains the most-represented nation in the table, with 172 institutions, up from 157. Though the majority of its universities – 130 of them – declined or remain static. However, marked improvement comes from China, with Tsinghua University now its new number one, supplanting the National University of Singapore as Asia’s top institution.Up eight places at number 22, Tsinghua surpassed Peking University (down four places to 31) to claim China’s highest position in the table since 2011.China is fourth most-represented globally in the table, with 72 universities (up from 63 in 2018), and retained seven in the elite top 200.
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