New Delhi: THE World University Rankings 2019 has declared the Tsinghua University as the best university in Asia. It has surpassed National University of Singapore (NUS) and risen at least eight places to 22nd on the list. One of the greatest rises in the Top 30, Tsinghua outranks Peking University for the first time in the global table.

China has stepped up its ascent of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, with the country now home to the top institution in Asia for the first time under the current methodology. NUS, however, dropped from joint 22nd to 23rd.

It is the first time that a Chinese university has topped Asia’s representatives under the current methodology of the world rankings (since 2011). Tsinghua has improved its citation impact, increased its institutional income and grown its international outlook, with greater shares of international staff, students and co-authored publications in the last one year.

Vice-president for international affairs and provost at Tsinghua, said that recent efforts to increase internationalisation and improve the quality of the university’s teaching and research systems have “helped to escalate Tsinghua’s excellence and global reputation”.

Simon Marginson, professor of higher education at the University of Oxford and director of the Centre for Global Higher Education, said that he was “not surprised” by Tsinghua’s advance.

“It’s easily the number one university in the world for high citation research in mathematics and computing – a combined field in which China has now moved well ahead of the US and, further back, Europe. It is near the top of the world, and rising fast, in physical sciences and engineering,” he said.

“If Tsinghua is that strong now, imagine where it will be in five years with the continued increases in funding under the Double World-Class Project and more support from China’s enterprises for research. We are already at the stage where many of the world’s best physical sciences researchers want to work at Tsinghua, just as they see MIT, Berkeley or Cambridge as great places to be.”

Tsinghua is not the only Chinese riser in the table. Zhejiang University has climbed an impressive 76 places to 101st this year. Meanwhile, the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) has also joined the ranking for the first time in the 301-350 band.

Meanwhile, the Indian Institute of Technology Indore became India’s second highest ranked university – and a global top 400 institution – with its strong scoring for research volume and impact.