MAINLAND China, India, Brazil, Russia and Taiwan continue to top the Times Higher Education (THE) Emerging Economies Rankings.
But other emerging nations – among them, Egypt and Malaysia – are starting to experience a more rapid advance.The 2019 ranking comprises nearly 450 universities – expanded from 378 last year – from 43 countries, across four continents. On the 2019 listing, Ellie Bothwell, Global Rankings Editor for THE, said: “This year’s ranking shows that emerging nations across Europe have had a tough year amid continued funding cuts, increasingly insular national outlooks, and intensified global competition. But Europe’s loss is a gain for several countries in the MENA and ASEAN regions, which have made significant progress as a result of prioritising research quality and working more closely with industry. While all nations in the ranking remain a long way from competing with China on the global stage, the results show that rapid progress can be made when countries commit to investing in a strong higher education system long-term.”
2019 Global RoundupMAINLAND CHINA remains the most represented nation in the 2019 listing, with 72 institutions in total, up from 63 last year.The nation claims four of the table’s top five positions – and seven of the top 10.Its presence in the top 200 has also risen this year, with 55 institutions included – up from 52 last year.
Tsinghua University surpasses Peking University as this year’s top institution overall, with particular improvements to its teaching (the learning environment), international outlook (staff, students and research) and citations (research influence) scores. Zhejiang University rises three positions to 3rd, from 6th – with improvements across the board, but especially to its international outlook, teaching and industry income (knowledge transfer) scores.
The University of Science and Technology of China climbs one place to 4th, but Fudan University slips two places to 6th.
On Mainland China, Ellie Bothwell, Global Rankings Editor for THE, said: “China is reaping the benefits of having long ago positioned its institutions at the heart of its national economic growth strategy.
“The nation’s success – on not only the emerging stage, but also the global one – is underpinned by its solid and sustained investment and strengthening international focus, working to attract top global talent and be part of strong international research collaborations.
“The country’s success has made it the model to emulate among other emerging economies, which increasingly recognise that, when you invest in a strong higher education system, you’re investing in the future prosperity of the whole nation. That is likely to mean intensified competition among these nations in the coming years, though all remain a long way from competing with China on the global stage.”
INDIA remains the second most represented nation in the ranking and increases its representation this year – with 49 universities included, up from 42. The nation also increases its presence in the top 200, from 17 to 25 institutions – surpassing Taiwan as the second most represented in the category. However, the table presents a mixed picture overall for India, with several new entrants and high risers, alongside several institutions that drop back.On India, Ellie Bothwell, Global Rankings Editor for THE, said: “Indian institutions have immense potential for success, but, while progress is clearly being made, other economies that previously lagged behind – such as Egypt and Malaysia – are starting to advance at a much faster rate. In this year’s table, India’s institutions perform well in teaching. However they are significantly behind the global average in terms of international outlook. Strengthening this will further elevate the nation’s global reputation for higher education, encourage important research collaborations and help attract international students.” RUSSIA’s performance is mixed – while several universities have declined, there are some significant risers in the nation too, as well as some prominent newcomers. The nation has 35 institutions included in the 2019 listing, up from 27 last year – overtaking traditionally high performer Taiwan as the fourth most represented in the overall table. The nation also gains ground in the top 200, with 15 institutions included this year – up from 14. Lomonosov Moscow State University again leads the nation, but slips from 3rd to 5th position – largely due to increased competition.
On Russia, Ellie Bothwell, Global Rankings Editor for THE, said: “While Russia’s Project 5-100 goal to lift five universities into the top 100 of global rankings by 2020 looks increasingly unlikely – it does seem that such an ambitious strategy is already changing the research culture in Russian universities. The institutions now need to focus on attracting international students and staff and collaborating with scholars in other countries to boost their performance further.”
Emerging economies across EUROPE experience widespread decline in this year’s table, amid funding cuts, increasingly insular national outlooks, and intensified global competition. However, LATVIA bucks the trend with a stronger year. Its Riga Technical University rises into the top 200, at joint 196th, thanks to solid improvements across its research, citations, industry income and international outlook scores, while the University of Latvia retains its place in the 251–300 band. Meanwhile, SERBIA re-enters the list after dropping out last year. Its University of Belgrade places in the top 200 at joint 189th, with its strongest scores for industry income (knowledge transfer) and international outlook (staff, students and research).
Meanwhile, TURKEY has 23 institutions ranked this year – up from 22, however many of its institutions decline. Its lead last year, Koç University, drops 10 places to 26th, with declines in its citations and industry income scores. However, Hacettepe University rises 41 places – and into the top 100 – at joint 99th, thanks in particular to improvements to its teaching and citations scores.
It’s a more positive picture across the MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA, with countries in the region progressing this year. It’s a particularly strong year for EGYPT, the most represented MENA nation in the 2019 table. The country more than doubles its representation this year, with 19 institutions included – up from nine last year. Seven of these feature in the top 200 – up from just two in the 2018 listing. Suez Canal University leads for Egypt this year, advancing impressively from the 251–300 banding to place at joint 114th, thanks to significant improvements to its citations (research influence) and industry income (knowledge transfer) scores. Meanwhile, KUWAIT is a new entry, having been included in the FTSE Country Classification of emerging economies this year. Kuwait University joins the listing in the 201–250 band, with its strongest scoring for international outlook (staff, students and research).
Countries within the ASEAN region also progress this year. THAILAND is the most represented nation in the region, and increases its presence from 10 institutions, to 14 this year. Mahidol University leads the nation again, rising eight positions to joint 68th overall, with improvements across the board, but particularly to its industry income (knowledge transfer) score. However – the nation’s presence in the top 200 of the table declines from six institutions last year to just two, amid increased competition. MALAYSIA has 11 institutions represented in the 2019 table, up from nine last year. It retains eight in the top 200. A strong year for the country sees six of its institutions advance, with just three declining. The nation’s flagship University of Malaya scales nine places to rank joint 18th – the highest rising institution in this year’s top 20, and the highest ranked in the ASEAN region. INDONESIA has five institutions included this year – a rise from four. The University of Indonesia leads the nation again – and leaps into the top 100, climbing from joint 184th last year, to joint 82nd in the 2019 table. The institution’s rapid rise comes thanks to improvements to its teaching (the learning environment), research (volume, income and reputation) and international outlook (staff, students and research) scores – as well as a very strong rise this year in its industry income (knowledge transfer) score. The PHILIPPINES also has a good year. The nation rises from one institution to two in the 2019 table. Its University of the Philippines sees a significant rise into the table’s top 100 – climbing from 166th last year to joint 87th, with improvements to its teaching, research and industry income scores – alongside a strong rise in its citations (research influence) score.
On Malaysia, Ellie Bothwell, Global Rankings Editor for THE, said: “Malaysia is one of the success stories of this year’s ranking, with many of the country’s universities rising. The nation is rapidly becoming an international student hub, and reforms aimed at granting students greater political freedoms – and its universities more autonomy – are welcome. However, cuts to higher education funding pose a threat to the nation’s success in future years. Malaysia must ensure that its universities receive enough investment to thrive in an increasingly competitive global higher education market.”
LATIN AMERICAN nations increase their presence in the 2019 table – but economic pressure and increased global competition limit their progress. BRAZIL is the most represented Latin American nation – and third most represented in the table – with 36 institutions included, a rise from 32 last year. However, 17 of these decline this year, including its two leading universities, as the nation struggles to compete with emerging countries experiencing a more rapid ascent. Nine of its institutions make 2019’s top 200 – a dip from 10 last year. Its flagship institution, the University of São Paulo, slips one place to 15th – its lowest ever position. However, Brazil does see several strong individual performers, including the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, which scales up from the 201-250 band, to joint 119th – with improvements across the board. MEXICO has 17 institutions included this year – a rise from 11, and retains two in the top 200. But while the nation increases its representation, many of its institutions decline – including its top two. ARGENTINA sees significant improvement for 2019, with five institutions included in the table, up from just one last year – led by the National University of Cuyo and National University of San Martín, both in the 251–300 banding.
On Brazil, Ellie Bothwell, Global Rankings Editor for THE, said: “When you invest in a strong higher education system, you’re investing in the future prosperity of the whole nation. But like many countries across Latin America, Brazil’s higher education sector is suffering the serious side effects of continued funding cuts. Meanwhile, other emerging economies are advancing at a faster rate, as increasingly we see them position institutions at the heart of their national economic growth strategies. Higher education success depends on solid and sustained investment and a strong international focus – both areas Brazil is falling behind in. Without ambitious investment, Brazil’s universities will struggle, not only to compete on a global scale, but simply to develop and realize their individual potential.”
AFRICAN nations see progress in this year’s listing. EGYPT (above) is the most represented among African nations in the 2019 table. SOUTH AFRICA has nine institutions included in this year’s table, up from eight last year, as the Tshwane University of Technology enters in at the 201–250 banding. The nation retains seven institutions in the top 200. NIGERIA has three institutions in this 2019 table – a rise from one last year, including two in the top 200. Its lead, the University of Ibadan, sees a strong rise from the 201–250 band to joint 141st, largely thanks to a significant improvement to its citations (research influence) score. Meanwhile, Covenant University enters the table at an impressive joint 151st and the University of Nigeria Nsukka joins the 351+ banding.