NTU named world's fastest rising young university

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is the world's fastest rising young university, according to the Times Higher Education magazine.

The London-based magazine, which produces several league tables, shortlisted 15 universities under the age of 50 and measured their rise since 2011.

NTU, founded in 1991, topped this list with its meteoric rise of 108 places to 61st position in last October's Times Higher Education World University Rankings, in just a few years.

Maastricht University in the Netherlands was second, moving up 96 places in the rankings to 101st position since 2011, and Britain's University of Warwick was third, moving up 54 places to 103rd position.

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology was next, followed by Spain's Pompeu Fabra University, Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and, finally, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Times said all seven "rising stars" displayed strong scores in three areas, which the magazine termed the "holy trinity" of qualities that universities need to harness to set them on the road to success.

The first area is citation impact - how much a university's research papers are being referenced by other academics.

The second is income from industry - how much companies are working with academics and applying their research to the real world.

The third is international outlook - a measure of how many international students and staff a university attracts, and how much it is collaborating on international research papers with other institutions.

Mr Phil Baty, editor of Times Higher Education rankings, said the list shows that world-class universities do not have to be old.

"You just have to be bold," he said, adding: "With strong leadership, clear focus and, let's be honest, serious financial backing, these seven rising stars have shown that what others have developed over centuries can be achieved in a matter of decades."

The secrets of their success will be discussed in detail at a summit to be held by the magazine in Dublin next month.

NTU president Bertil Andersson said the ranking reflected the university's improvements in the last four years, in all areas from teaching to research.

He added that several key factors led to its continued charge up various rankings, such as the high quality of its faculty and students, strong industry links and a government that is supportive of education and research.

He said: "Being young means that you need to work harder to gain ground in this tough global marketplace and, to a certain extent, you need to be lucky.

"Being situated in a national environment committed to the knowledge-based economy and supportive of higher education institutions helps enormously."

sandra@sph.com.sg