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BlueSky Ranking Of University Rankings 2022/23 – Asia & Oceania

The story of higher education in Asia over the last ten years has been dominated by China, both for the growing presence of the country’s leading institutions on the world stage, the impact and reach of Chinese university research, and student flows that have been affected by the pandemic.

Chinese universities now fill 8 of the top 30 places in the BlueSky Thinking Ranking of University Rankings 2022/23 – Asia & Oceania, which is the first league table to combine the annual results of the four global university rankings compiled by THE, QS, US News and ARWU Shanghai. 

Tsinghua University now ranks #1 in the region, compared to its position at #3 five years ago. It is followed by Peking University at #2, which has risen three places since 2017/18. Their continued rise has pushed the University of Melbourne of the top spot, with the University of Tokyo sliding three places down to #5.

Other Chinese universities have also made significant advances in the Asia & Oceania rankings, with Huazhong Univ of Science and Technology climbing 12 places to make the top 30. Other winners include Zhejiang University (+9), Shanghai Jiao Tong University (+7), and Nanjing University (+6). Fudan University (+1) and UST China (+1) also contributed to the collective surge.

Institutions in Hong Kong have also risen in the rankings over the past 5 years, with Hong Kong Polytechnic University leading the way with a 10-place improvement, followed by University of Hong Kong (+3) and Chinese University of Hong Kong (+1). Only HKUST slumped, sliding 8 places to #26.

The two leading institutions in Singapore have consolidated their position among the Asian elite, with National University of Singapore unchanged at #4 and Nanyang Technological University rising 3 places to #6.

The other rankings performance of note across the four major global rankings is the first university from the Arabian Peninsula of Southwest Asia to make the region’s top 30 – King Abdulaziz University. Founded in 1967, the public university in Jeddah welcomed over 177,000 students in 2022. It ranks #84 in the global BlueSky Ranking of University Rankings, and when compared to other schools in Asia and Oceania it has climbed 13 places to #21 from five years before.

After many years bossing the regional league tables, universities in Australia have slipped slightly. However a country with a population of 25.7 million boasts an impressive tally of 8 universities in the top 30, with the University of Melbourne, University of Sydney, University of Queensland and Monash University in the top 10 since 2017/18.

The BlueSky Thinking Ranking of University Rankings aggregates the performance of schools across the four major global rankings. Each of them uses a different methodology and measures different things with the inherent limitations of each assessment, so doing particularly well in one ranking and less well in another is reflected in the overall average score.

Despite that broader balance, the advances made by universities in China and Hong Kong have largely been at the expense of institutions in Japan and South Korea. Osaka University saw the biggest drop of any school that was in the top 30 five years ago, falling 10 places down to #35. Kyoto University’s positions in the regional rankings has also declined, down 7 places to #17 while Tohoku University lost 6 places to #33. Even the mighty have been humbled, with University of Tokyo down to #5.

The rankings picture is not much brighter in South Korea, though Yonsei University did make the top 30 with a jump of 8 places. Elsewhere, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology tumbled 5 places to #28, and the prestigious Seoul National University feel from #14 to #18.

Where will things stand 5 or 10 years from now? The last three years of a global health crisis and the impact of China’s Zero Covid policy will no doubt have an impact on rankings whose methodologies include measures of international outlook and collaboration.  

And what about India? Phil Baty at Times Higher Education has fascinating insight on how the geopolitics of knowledge is shifting. Draft regulation from the country’s University Grants Commission (UGC) may open up the system and see leading international universities set up campuses  in India.

“In recent years, India’s visibility in the THE World University Rankings has exploded, with the numbers of universities meeting the high standards to be ranked more than doubling since 2016,” he explains. “But places for India at the very top of the rankings have remained elusive.”

“This move, and the wider bold and ambitious programme of Narendra Modi’s National Education Policy reforms could really start to change that and see Indian universities live-up to their great heritage of global intellectual leadership.”

There are winners and losers in every ranking, and all of the institutions in the top 30 listed here are leading lights for research, academic reputation and learning across Asia and Oceania.

Don’t forget to check out results for the rest of the world:

Global Top 100: BlueSky Thinking Ranking of University Rankings 2022/23 – Global

N.America Top 50: BlueSky Thinking Ranking of University Rankings 2022/23 – North America

Europe Top 50: BlueSky Thinking Ranking of University Rankings 2022/23 – Europe

BlueSky Ranking of the University Rankings 2022/23 – Asia & Oceania

Rank in Asia & Oceania 2022/23Rank in Asia & Oceania 2017/18Institution NameCountryTHE 2023QS 2023USNews 2022/23ARWU 2022%-year change
13Tsinghua UniversityChina161423262
25Peking UniversityChina171239343
31University of MelbourneAustralia34332732-2
44National University of SingaporeSingapore191126710
52The University of TokyoJapan39238124-3
69Nanyang Technological UniversitySingapore361930883
77The University of SydneyAustralia554128600
86The University of QueenslandAustralia53503647-2
912University of Hong KongHong Kong312155963
1011Monash UniversityAustralia445737751
1113UNSW SydneyAustralia724537642
128Australian National UniversityAustralia62306279-4
1322Zhejiang UniversityChina674293369
1421Shanghai Jiao Tong UniversityChina524689547
1516Chinese University of Hong KongHong Kong4538531251
1617Fudan UniversityChina5134116671
1710Kyoto UniversityJapan683614041-7
1814Seoul National UniversityS. Korea562912998-4
1920Univ of Science and Technology of ChinaChina7494102621
2019University of AdelaideAustralia8810974125-1
2132King Abdulaziz UniversitySaudi Arabia1011066512511
2215University of Western AustraliaAustralia131908399-7
2333Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong Kong796510017510
2424City University of Hong KongHong Kong99541201750
2531Nanjing UniversityChina951331231256
2618Hong Kong Univ of Science and TechnologyHong Kong584095350-8
2728University of AucklandN. Zealand139871232501
2823Korea Advanced Inst of Science and TechnologyS. Korea9142282250-5
2941Huazhong Univ of Science and TechnologyChina1763061099612
3038Yonsei University (Seoul campus)S. Korea78732922508

University Rankings Methodologies

Each of the major university rankings uses a different methodology and weights the use of different data to produce their league tables, so it is important to understand what is being measured. In simple terms:

THE – the performance indicators are grouped into five areas: Teaching (the learning environment); Research (volume, income and reputation); Citations (research influence); International Outlook (staff, students and research); and Industry Income (knowledge transfer).

Teaching (30%); Research (30%); Citations (30%); International Outlook (7.5%); Industry Income (2.5%).

QS– six indicators looking at four broad categories: research reputation, the learning and teaching environment, research impact, and internationalisation. 

Academic Reputation (40%); Employer Reputation (10%); Citations per Faculty (20%); Faculty Student Ratio (20%); International Student Ratio (5%); International Faculty Ratio (5%)

ARWU – considers every university that has any Nobel Laureates, Fields Medalists, Highly Cited Researchers, or papers published in Nature or Science. In addition, universities with a significant amount of papers indexed by Science Citation Index-Expanded (SCIE) and Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) are also included.

Quality of Education (10%); Quality of Faculty (40%); Research Output (40%) Per Capita Performance (10%)

US News – calculates the rankings using 13 indicators and weights that U.S. News chose to measure global research performance.

Global Research Reputation (12.5%); Regional Research Reputation (12.5%); Publications (10%); Books (2.5%); Conferences (2.5%), Normalized Citation Impact (10%); Total Citations (7.5%); Number Of Publications Among 10% Most Cited (12.5%); Percentage Of Total Publications Among 10% Most Cited (10%); International Collaboration – Relative To Country (5%); International Collaboration (5%); Number Of Highly Cited Papers Among Top 1% Most Cited In Respective Field (5%); Percentage Of Total Publications Among Top 1% Most Highly Cited Papers (5%) 

About the author

Matt Symonds is Chief Editor of BlueSky Thinking. He is the S of QS, co-founding QS Quacquarelli Symonds, publishers of the QS World University Rankings and numerous business school rankings.

In 2010 Matt was the media consultant for Times Higher Education to support the launch of their own THE World University Rankings, and has subsequently worked for THE and WSJ for business school rankings.

Matt writes about Higher Education and management for Forbes, BBC, Times of India and formerly The Economist and Bloomberg.

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