The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 has published in September 2017.


Top of 6 Universities are the same of previous year with not so much difference in rankings.
It is only the University of Cambridge that ranked up this year replacing California Institute of technology who ranked down to 3rd place this year.


Top 6 Universities

Rank Name Country compare
1 University of Oxford UK 1→
2 University of Cambridge UK 4↑
3 California Institute of Technology USA 2↓
3 Stanford University USA 3→
5 Massachusetts Institute of Technology USA 5→
6 Harvard University USA 6→

If we focus on Asian, many Universities are showing strong performance and improvement this year such as Singapore and China, Hong Kong.


Overall Ranking Tables for Top Asian Universities










What is The Times Higher Education World University Rankings?


Times Higher Education

Times Higher Education is a weekly magazine based in London reporting specifically on news and issues related to higher education.


Originally, the Times Higher Education was published as an appendix booklet of English famous news paper “Times” and was known as “The Times Higher Education Supplement” (THES)


Times Higher Education separated from The Times and became independent magazine.
They published a report call “Times Higher Education World University Rankings every fall since 2004.


Times Higher Education World University Rankings is known as one of the pioneers of University Rankings, though there are other provider such as Academic Ranking of World University (ARWU) and QS World University Rankings.



About “The Times Higher Education World University Rankings”


The Times Higher Education World University Rankings is an annual international university rankings published by the Times Higher Education since 2004.

Originally, the Times Higher Education was published as an appendix booklet and was known as “The Times Higher Education Supplement” (THES)


From 2004 to 2009, the university rankings were created in partnership with the UK University evaluation institution,the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).
They stop working with QS and signed with Thomson Reuters in 2010 due to criticism of aggregation method .
They use Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science (WoS) Citation database today.


To take both institutions name, it was called “The Times Higher Education – Quacquarelli Symonds (THE-QS) till 2009.
After 2010, they are called Times Higher Education – Thomson Reuters” (TH)


The evaluation for University rankings gives priority on “peer review” from researchers.
This means that researchers of the same field (e.g Social Science researchers) will be the evaluators of the same category.

From 2004 they reported a ranking not only on general education, but also another ranking based on specific field such as Social Science, Medical Science, Natural Science, Engineering and Information Engineering and Humanities Science. They published the top 50 universities based on this.


In September of 2011, Times Higher Education issued a statement that their 2011-2012 list based on their research and teaching called World Reputation Rankings.
They also announced rankings for the top 200 universities.




How does Times Higher Education made the rankings?

The Times Higher Education World University rankings methodology uses 13 separate performance indicators to judge these world-class universities against their core missions:


These 13 indicators are grouped into 5 different groups.

  • Teaching (the learning environment) 30%
  • Research (volume, income and reputation) 30%
  • Citations (research influence) 30%
  • International outlook (staff, students and research) 7.5%
  • Industry income (knowledge transfer) 2.5%


Performance Indicators and Percentage of each in Ranking System




Asian Universities show strong performance

There is an undeniably increase in the performances of the Asian Universities with the recent Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018.


This is the first time that three Asian universities hold a spot in the top 30 of the ranking since 2010‑11.
These are Singapore, China and Hong Kong.


The top University in Asia is National University of Singapore .
The National University of Singapore has raised two places from previous year, and now in 22nd spot together with the University of Toronto.
Another university in Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, also reached the 52nd place this year from 54th place in 2017 rankings.


Another noticeable rise is from China. They now have two universities in the top 30,
the Peking University and Tsinghua University .
These two Chinese institutions rose above other known institutions in Europe and US.


Also, according to the report from Times Higher Education,
almost all Chinese Universities have shown great performances,
which means that the country has a strong commitment to increasing education standard.



China targets ‘world-class’ status for 42 universities

The University of Hong Kong is one of Asia’s biggest risers this year, jumping 18 places to 58th.
The report showed that this is due to its large boost in its reputation for research and teaching improvements, citation and industry income.


Asia University Rankings 2018

Rank in Asia World Rank
Name Country
1 22 (24-26) National University of Singapore Singapore
2 27 (29-42) Peking China
3 30 (35-47) Tsinghua University China
4 40 (43-44) University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
5 44 (49-59) Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Hong Kong





What is the relation of rankings to the rise of Asian Countries?

We all have the results now.
When we look closely, we can see some universities are ranking down and some are ranking up, especially those from Asian Countries.


While many are rising, we can also see the down rising of many universities of United Kingdom and United States.
Though, UK holds two institutions on top, we cannot ignore the fact that other British Institution slide down with rankings.
Overall, half of the UK’s top 200 universities have dropped places.


The same thing happened with United States.
Most of the American institutions that are sliding down in rankings are those from public institutions.


On the other hand, the rise of Asian countries such as Singapore and China is mainly due to their increasing research and development investments to deal with global high education standards.


Their awareness to the importance of research and raising high education helped these countries to rank up and become known in these international Higher Education rankings.


Around the world, Asian countries are now becoming capable and keeping up their improving standards to compete with the many European countries.


This may be due to their stronger economy so they can now provide more funds to improve their facilities, improve research, and hire top academic staff to be part of their institution.

As a result, many Asian countries are now ranking up and the higher education becomes better than before.



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