Nanyang Technological University (NTU) affirmed its rise over the National University of Singapore (NUS) in another university ranking by London-based education consultancy Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).
In the Asian Universities Ranking released this morning, NTU was placed No. 1, ahead of NUS and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).
The Singapore Management University was placed 71st.
This is the second QS ranking that has seen NTU beat NUS. In the QS World University Rankings released in June, NTU moved up two places to be ranked 11th, while NUS fell from 12th to 15th.
In the latest ranking, NTU outdid NUS in three out of 10 indicators, including research, which cumulatively make up 35 per cent of the overall score. This led to an overall score of 100 for NTU, while it was 99.9 for NUS.
QS said both universities are extremely well regarded by employers and attract a high proportion of international faculty, as illustrated by the perfect scores achieved in these two indicators.
NTU also achieved a perfect score for the quality-research indicator as well as for the proportion of international students, while NUS achieved the top score for its reputation among the academic community. It also scored higher than NTU for having more staff with PhD degrees.
Mr Ben Sowter, research director at QS, said this year's rankings suggest that established hierarchies are being disrupted in a number of nations. He was also referring to HKUST overtaking Hong Kong University, which dropped three places to the fifth position this year.
"This is a result of the region's universities continually striving to become competitive, forward-thinking, and internationally attractive. Such attitude is particularly noticeable in Singapore," he said.
He added that the impressive results for NUS and NTU could not have been achieved without consistent support and investment from the Singapore Government, which recognises the value of world-class higher-education institutions.
NTU president Bertil Andersson agreed, adding that as a small country, Singapore is determined to punch above its weight when competing with the bigger Asian countries in the knowledge economy.
"I'm happy that NTU has contributed to this achievement for Singapore," he said, noting that NTU has risen from No. 14 in 2009, when the QS Asian rankings began.
NUS provost Tan Eng Chye said that NUS was pleased to be consistently placed among the top universities in Asia and the world.
He added: "This is a strong recognition of NUS' world-class expertise and the deep impact of our work. There is much to do on these fronts.
"As the national university, our long-term focus remains steadfast on advancing knowledge, research and its translation, and talent development for the benefit of Singapore and Singaporeans."
To measure excellence among Asian universities, QS uses several key indicators to compare institutions, including academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty-student ratio and papers per faculty.