NUS and NTU move up in world rankings

MBA graduates from NUS posing for pictures at their commencement ceremony. NUS rose three spots to 26th this year and held on to its second position in Asia, after Tokyo University.
MBA graduates from NUS posing for pictures at their commencement ceremony. NUS rose three spots to 26th this year and held on to its second position in Asia, after Tokyo University.ST FILE PHOTO

NUS now 26th, NTU is 76th and top for industry income and innovation

Singapore's two oldest universities are getting better with age as they continue their march up the Times Higher Education (THE) World University rankings.

The National University of Singapore (NUS) edged up another three spots to 26th this year, after going from 40th to 29th in 2012. It also held on to its position as the second-best in Asia, after Tokyo University.

The Nanyang Technological University (NTU), which dramatically leaped 83 places the year before, moved another 10 rungs to 76th.

It is also ranked joint No. 1 in the world for industry income and innovation, sharing the accolade with 10 other universities, such as Johns Hopkins and Duke University, after coming in 15th last year.

Measuring how much research income a university was able to attract in the past year from industry, this was one of the 13 performance indicators used to determine the rankings.

The others covered teaching, which was partly based on how other academics around the world rated the university, research, international outlook and how much a university's work is cited by other institutions.

As with last year, American universities dominate the rankings, taking seven of the top 10 places.

The California Institute of Technology is first for the third straight year, with Harvard and Britain's Oxford sharing second.

Mr Phil Baty, editor of THE World University Rankings, produced by Britain's leading publication in higher education, said: "Singapore continues to go from strength to strength."

He believes that NUS and NTU, which was established in 1991, will continue to climb the rankings, given the country's reputation as one of the world's leading hubs for research and innovation and its ability to attract top academic and business talent.

The 108-year-old NUS, he said, it is not just rising in Asia but also proving its excellence along with other regional universities against the best from the West, including America, Britain and Canada.

He added that NTU's progress was not just impressive but also showed that it was strong across the wide range of performance indicators.

NTU president Bertil Andersson pointed to the setting up of new research labs such as the $75 million Rolls-Royce aerospace technology centre as one reason for earning top spot for industry income and innovation. He also noted that NTU has been rapidly ramping up collaborations with the world's leading multinationals and key industry players.

"I expect that we will be within the top 50 in a few years' time," he said.

NUS president Tan Chorh Chuan, meanwhile, was "delighted" with his university's move up the table. He said NUS has, among other things, pioneered fresh approaches to education in Singapore such as the new University Town and the establishment of the Yale-NUS College.

The Times ranking is considered one of the more comprehensive university rankings currently available.

The latest 10th edition, which was released to the media yesterday, will be announced officially today during The Times' World Academic Summit, which is being held at the NTU.

The Straits Times is the official media partner of the three-day event, which began yesterday.

sandra@sph.com.sg