Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has replaced Cambridge University at the top of the widely respected QS world university rankings but Indian institutions are languishing outside the top 200 for a second year in a row.
As India tries to ramp up its higher education standards, and hopes to attract foreign universities to its shores, the 2012 QS rankings serve as a reminder that it continues to lag behind not just the developed world but neighbour and rival China.
China boasts 7 universities in the top 200, apart from another 5 in Hong Kong. The Chinese University of Hong Kong (40) and Peking University (44) are the top varsities in Hong Kong and China respectively. Though the same number of Chinese varsities found place in the top 200 ranks last year too, their ranks have improved marginally.
Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, the country’s top ranked varsity for several years, stays in that position but is only ranked 36 among Asian universities. It ranked 186 globally in 2010, the last time an Indian university was ranked in the top 200.
At the top, the tussle remains ironically between Cambridge, UK, and Cambridge, Massachusetts – with universities from the two cities swapping pole positions. From 2004 to 2010, Harvard University in the Massachusetts, US, city held the top rank. For the past two years, Cambridge University in the UK topped the rankings. This year, the rank has gone back to Cambridge, Massachusetts, also home to MIT.