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Panjab University has topped the list of Indian universities featured in Times Higher Education (THE) Asia University Rankings 2014. The university, ranked 32, is one among ten Indian institutions that have found a spot in the top 100. The other Indian institutions in the list include IIT Kharagpur (45), IIT Kanpur (55), IIT Delhi and Roorkee (59), IIT Guwahati (74), IIT Madras and Jadavpur University (76), Aligarh Muslim University (80) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (90).
While India had only three universities in the top 100 last year, that number has jumped to ten this year. According to Ashok Thakur, India’s secretary for higher education, “The question of whether the country should go “full hog” for the global university rankings has mercifully been laid to rest by none other than the president of India, Pranab Mukherjee, who has made it clear that as a matter of policy, all institutions in the country have to participate wholeheartedly in the rankings process. The benefits of this commitment are obvious to all.”
The University of Tokyo, Japan, retains its number one position in the Asia University Rankings, followed by National University of Singapore at number two and University of Hong Kong at the third place. Japan is the number one nation in the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2014, with 20 representatives in the top 100; but China is catching up fast, with 18 institutions. South Korea takes third spot with 14 universities (including three in the top 10). Taiwan falls from second to fourth with 13 representatives. The Middle East is represented by universities from Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
The rankings are based on 13 separate performance indicators to examine each university’s strengths against all its core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The data has been collected, analysed and verified by data specialists, Thomson Reuters.
Phil Baty, editor, THE Rankings, says, “The country’s increased engagement with the international agenda, particularly its decision to embrace global performance benchmarks, has dramatically improved its representation among Asia’s top 100 universities.”
He adds, “The scale and speed of Asia’s development in higher education and research is staggering, and this ranking provides invaluable insights into the exciting (and rapidly changing) dynamics of the continent’s top universities. Many Asian institutions are making strong progress in the World University Rankings, but the global list remains dominated by North America and Western Europe. This new ranking offers us a clearer picture of the Asian institutions.”