THE World University Ranking 2021: Despite India’s highest-ever entries, none in top 300; China breaks into top 20

THE World University Ranking 2021
THE World University Ranking 2021

Among India varsities, the highest rank is occupied by IISc yet again, however, IIT-Delhi, Bombay, Madras which are top-rankers in the Indian ranking index were not there in the top slots. Seven IITs had last year boycotted THE Ranking

THE World University Ranking 2021

India records its highest ever number of universities to qualify for the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranking (WUR) 2021. A total of 63 universities from India qualified for the ranking, however, none could make it to the top 300. While the jump of 14 more institutes is the highest jump by any country in the South Asian region, however, it is China which is winning praises as China’s Tsinghua University becomes the first-ever Asian university to make the overall top 20.

The United States is the most represented country with 59 entries in the top 200, followed by the UK with 29 and Germany with 21 institutes in the top ranking universities across the world. THE has assessed performance of 1527 higher education institutes from 93 countries or regions on several parameters including teaching, research, knowledge transfer, and international outlook.

Chinese universities competition for US, UK

UK’s University of Oxford retains top spot for the fifth consecutive year, however, the report noted that “UK’s status as a higher education superpower is under challenge, as institutions from Asia continue to impress.” Of the UK’s top 20 ranked institutions last year, only five were able to improve their position in the table.

The US also sees the challenge from Asia affecting its performance, claims THE. It further claims, “50 per cent of the US’s top 20 performing universities from last year’s ranking fails to maintain their position. Over the past five years, the US has lost 4 positions in the overall top 200”

This rise is being credited to China. Asia’s rise is fronted by China’s Tsinghua University, which becomes the first Asian university ever to break into the THE World University Rankings top 20 since the current methodology launched in 2011.

“Since 2016, mainland China has gained five additional places in the top 200. It has also doubled its representation in the top 100 since last year, gaining 3 additional places (6 in total). Of the 7 universities that achieved a top 200 place in 2020, 85 per cent improved their position in 2021, as mainland China continues to challenge the world’s very best,” claims official statement by THE.

Top 30 universities across the world

Top Indian universities

Among India varsities, the highest rank is occupied by IISc yet again, however, IIT-Delhi, Bombay, Madras which are top-rankers in the Indian ranking index were not there in the top slots. This could be because the top seven IITs including Mumbai, Delhi, Kanpur, Guwahati, Madras, Roorkee, and Kharagpur had boycotted the THE Ranking last year.

“India has previously suffered from a lack of internationalisation within its institutions, which were not attracting as many global scholars, thinkers, or students as much as other countries. The recent announcement of the New Education Policy, the first of its kind since 1986, could be a great step in the right direction for India. With proposed comprehensive changes to Indian higher education, such as the approval for foreign universities to open campuses in India, the policy is an incredibly exciting turning point for the country. It opens the door for universities around the world to benefit from the talent and research of students and staff from India, which will positively reflect on the country in future THE World University Rankings,” Phil Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer at THE, was quoted as saying in an official release.


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