The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are among the world's best universities, according to the 2006 university rankings published by the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) on Thursday.
The IITs are ranked at No 57, and the IIMs at No 68 on the list of 200 universities. But while the IITs have slipped seven notches from last year's No 50, the IIMs have climbed 16 rungs from No 84 last year.
The list is dominated by American and British universities, with Harvard retaining its No 1 position and Cambridge and Oxford universities coming in second and third places. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Yale University are tied in the fourth place.
The rankings are based on a survey of over 3,000 academics who were asked to identify universities best for research in their fields of expertise. This ensured that a university's ranking would suffer if its standards of research fell. The survey also took into account the student-teacher ratio and the extent to which a university attracted foreign students and academics.
The highest-ranking Asian university is Beijing University - at No 15. It is also the highest-ranking institution outside the British-American stratosphere. John O'Leary, editor of the THES, had a word for Chinese institutions. "The leading Chinese universities... will challenge the leaders in years to come." Watch out, India.