Where Are Asia’s Top-Ranked Universities?

Asia's top two universities are the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, both ranked 11th in the QS World University Rankings... but what is Thailand's top ranking university? We reveal all!
Where Are Asia’s Top-Ranked Universities?
By Carli Allan
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The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) – both in Singapore – are rated the best places to study a degree in Asia after being ranked joint 11th in an annual global survey of universities. China's Tsinghua University joins them in the top 20 in 16th place.

NUS retained its ranking from last year and NTU (pictured above) 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.

Elsewhere in Asia, five of Hong Kong’s universities are 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 Thailand, the highest ranked university is Chulalongkorn University, in joint 247th place; in Vietnam it is Vietnam National University - Ho Chi Minh City (VNU-HCM), ranked in 701-750.

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.

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.

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.

The Global Top 20

2020 2019    
1 1 Massachusetts Institute of Technology  US
2 2 Stanford University US
3 3 Harvard University US
4 5 University of Oxford UK
5 4 California Institute of Technology  US
6 7 ETH Zurich  CH
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
13 13 Princeton University US
14 14 Cornell University US
15 19 University of Pennsylvania US
16 17 Tsinghua University CN
17 15 Yale University US
  18= 16 Columbia University US
  18= 22 Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne CH
20 18 University of Edinburgh UK

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