India becomes the leading South Asian country with as many as 16 Indian institutes featuring in Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2016, a sharp rise from just three institutes that appeared in the top 100 in 2013. Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore ranked 27th in this year’s rankings has made it to top 30 for the first time.
“IISc performs above the average for Indian institute in all five pillars – teaching, research, international outlook, citations and industry income – but it stands out most in research. This strong performance is drawn from research income, research reputation and published research,” says Phil Baty, editor, Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) Bombay (43), Kharagpur (51), Delhi (60), Madras (62), Roorkee (65) and Guwahati (80) and Jadavpur University (84) feature among top 100 in the rankings led by National University of Singapore, Singapore, in the first position.
As rankings are increasingly seen to be playing an important role in helping universities measure their progress against others elsewhere in Asia and around the world, it has painted a better picture of the sector in India. “We are delighted that more Indian universities have become engaged with rankings over the past few years. The process of working with organisations like the Times Higher Education provides useful indicators that can be used by students, academics, governments and others, so the increased engagement is broadly good news. As a corollary, the increased engagement in the rankings has made the rankings themselves better – as more Indian universities participate, we have been able to expand the range of universities included in our rankings, which is similarly good news,” says Baty.
The performance indicators used to rank the institutes include: teaching (the learning environment), research (volume, income and reputation), citations (research influence), international outlook (staff, students and research) and industry income (knowledge transfer). So, how are Indian institutes performing? As Baty says, “While they still struggle to compete with the well-funded universities of East and South East Asia, Indian institutions have their own strengths and perform strongly on the teaching indicators.”
He is also quick to add that Indian institutes need to focus on international outlook, which would mean, among other things, attracting more staff and students from abroad and more academic research published in collaboration with international partners.