NUS makes list of global top 20 universities by reputation for first time

NUS climbed to the 19th spot in the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings released on Wednesday. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE – The National University of Singapore (NUS) has for the first time emerged as one of the world’s top 20 universities by reputation in a list topped by American Ivy League college Harvard.

NUS climbed to the 19th spot in the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings released on Wednesday. It had held the 24th position in the table for the past four years. 

This puts the university ahead of other prestigious institutions such as the United States’ Johns Hopkins University and Cornell University, which came in 20th and 23rd, respectively. 

The list by the Britain-based higher education consultancy ranks the world’s top 200 universities judged by academics to have the best reputation for research and teaching.

A record 29,606 academics from 159 countries cast 420,204 votes for the latest edition. 

A total of 211 universities from 32 countries were included in the list, with some institutions tying for the same positions. 

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) was ranked 40th, tying with Canada’s University of British Columbia.

It was placed within the group of institutions in the 61st to 70th band last year. Institutions coming after the top 50 were listed in groups of 10.

In a statement, Times Higher Education chief knowledge officer Phil Baty said: “In higher education, reputation really matters: It helps attract inward investment, and it helps draw in quality partners for strategic advancement.

“But above all else, it is key to attracting talent, among both academics and of course the many millions of prospective students who have more and more choice of where to study. 

“It is subjective, and it is not always fair, but it has real currency with tangible effects.”

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology retained their first and second spots, with Stanford University, the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge rounding up the top five. 

Two Asian institutions made it to the top 10. China’s Tsinghua University took the ninth spot and Japan’s University of Tokyo was 10th. 

The 2022 rankings are based on an academic opinion survey carried out between November 2021 and February 2022 in 12 languages. 

Times Higher Education said the questionnaire targets only experienced and published scholars, who offer their views within their disciplines and for institutions with which they are familiar.

An NUS spokesman said: “It is heartening that NUS continues to be highly regarded by academics and industry partners across the world. 

“This is an affirmation of the selfless commitment and relentless efforts of our talented faculty and staff in constantly innovating and pushing the boundaries in teaching, research and entrepreneurship. 

“As Singapore’s flagship university, we remain focused on nurturing talent for our country, while developing innovative solutions to solve real-world problems for the betterment of society.”

An NTU spokesman said its latest ranking is a recognition of its global performance in research, education and knowledge transfer. 

“The university’s steady upward trajectory over the last few years, particularly for such a young university, is the result of the hard work of its faculty, researchers and staff.” 

She added: “This ranking is consistent with other global rankings, such as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, where NTU rose 10 places to 36th place, and the US News & World Report rankings, where NTU broke into the top 30 this year.”

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.