SINGAPORE - The National University of Singapore (NUS) has maintained top spot in an annual ranking of Asian universities released on Wednesday morning, while Nanyang Technological University (NTU) moved up from the seventh to fourth place.
London-based education and career consultancy Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), ranks Asia's top 300 universities based on nine criteria including academic reputation, employer reputation, student-faculty ratio, papers per faculty and citations per paper.
NTU has reached its highest ever position since the rankings were first compiled in 2009, after moving up three places in 2014.
QS said NUS achieved the maximum score in the academic reputation indicator, based on more than 42,000 responses from academics from the region and around he world, while NTU achieved a nearly perfect score.
Both universities also achieved the maximum score in the employer reputation indicator based on the opinion of almost 12,000 employers who took part in the survey.
QS said although both universities had a low score in terms of the number of papers published, they scored highly when the impact of their research was measured by the number of citations per paper.
NUS ranked third regionally for citations per paper while NTU was 12th.
QS said the citation ranking reveals that the research output of the two universities "achieves a significant impact among the international scientific community and the world at large".
Mr Ben Sowter, QS head of research, said: "The leading Singaporean universities have an insatiable quest for excellence and an unwavering ambition, supported by a favourable environment which places education and innovation among the top priorities of the city-state's agenda.
"The historical analysis of the rankings shows that to maintain their position year on year, universities need to constantly improve. Hence, when they rise or if they stay firmly at the top of the table, it means that they are effectively progressing perceptibly faster than their peers."
Hong Kong University was placed second, followed by Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).
NUS president Professor Tan Chorh Chuan said: "We are very encouraged that the University is highly regarded and valued by employers and academics in Asia and the world.
"This is a reflection of NUS' distinctive education and broad-based research excellence, which are results of the strong contributions made by dedicated NUS faculty, staff and students."
NTU president, Professor Bertil Andersson said: "Singapore should be very proud to have two highly acclaimed universities among Asia's top four.
"This is a remarkable feat for this small country and especially meaningful that it has come during Singapore's Golden Jubilee year.
"It shows that Singapore's continued investments in education and research are reaping good results."