NUS retained its ranking from last year and NTU rose by one position to share the top spot for Asia in the 2020 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, which ranks the world's top 1,000 universities. Singapore Management University (SMU) was the only other Singapore university to feature in the rankings; it ranked 477th, moving up 23 places from last year’s ranking of 500th.
NUS, NTU (pictured above) and SMU all scored full marks for international faculty ratio, which measures the proportion of non-local faculty at an institution. However, when compared with global faculty count, they received lower scores for international student ratio; this looks at the proportion of foreign students at a university and provides an indicator of its ability to attract global talent.
QS said that NUS has a better reputation than NTU among academics and employers, while NTU is the strongest in terms of its smaller class sizes and larger research impact.
NUS is the oldest higher education institution in Singapore, and currently has 39,000 students spread across three campuses; it was ranked top in last year’s QS Asia University Rankings of the region’s top universities.
Ben Sowter, QS research director, said, “With the eleventh-highest score in the world for our Academic Reputation indicator, the global academic community continues to recognise the quality of research and high standards prevalent at NUS. Furthermore, with a perfect score of 100/100 for our International Faculty Ratio indicator and improving research impact scores, there is evidence that NUS' international recruitment strategy is proving highly fruitful.”
An NUS spokesperson: “The remarkable global standing of our local universities attests to the quality of Singapore’s higher education system. As Singapore’s flagship university, NUS’ focus is on creating positive impact on Singapore and the wider community.”
NTU has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in its Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and Graduate colleges, as well as a medical school set up jointly with Imperial College London. This year, NTU's biggest improvements were in research citations per faculty, which moved up 10 positions to 36th, and employer reputation, which rose eight places to 35th. NTU's academic reputation climbed one place to 37th, while its international faculty ranking went up one place to 21st.
A spokesperson for NTU added: “NTU has been steadily climbing the various global league tables as it continues to strive for excellence in education, research and innovation, and for enhancing in the impact of its work within Singapore and around the world.
This latest achievement in QS is yet another indication that NTU's investment and efforts are being recognised, and that NTU continues to be highly regarded by academics and employers worldwide.
QS surveyed more than 94,000 academics and 44,000 employers to rank the world’s top universities from 82 countries. Universities were measured on academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per faculty, faculty-to-student ratio, and the proportions of international faculty and international students.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was ranked the world's best university for the eighth consecutive year. The top 10 is dominated by universities in the US and UK, and after MIT the top five included (in order) Stanford University, Harvard University, University of Oxford, and the California Institute of Technology.
Elsewhere in Asia, five of Hong Kong’s universities were ranked in the top 100. The University of Hong Kong (HKU) was rated as the city’s best after being given 25th place. The University of Science and Technology (HKUST) jumped five places to 32nd, and Chinese University (CUHK) was up from 49th to 46th place. City University rose to 52nd from 55th, and Polytechnic University was ranked 91st, up 15 places from last year to enter the top 100.
In other key findings, the UK recorded its third-worst performance ever; the University of Cambridge hit its lowest-ever position (still a respectable 7th) but the University of Oxford rose to 4th. Also, while international student ratios at UK and US universities have consistently fallen, 69% of Australian universities have seen improvements in their ranks.
|1||1||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||US|
|4||5||University of Oxford||UK|
|5||4||California Institute of Technology||US|
|7||6||University of Cambridge||UK|
|8||10||University College London||UK|
|9||8||Imperial College London||UK|
|10||9||University of Chicago||US|
|11=||12||Nanyang Technological University||SG|
|11=||11||National University of Singapore||SG|
|15||19||University of Pennsylvania||US|
|18=||22||Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne||CH|
|20||18||University of Edinburgh||UK|