02 December 2009

Japan slips in QS-Times HE world rankings, no top 20 institutions

It's that time of year again--various university league tables and world rankings have been released. This requires analysis from the Japan HEO Blog from a Japan perspective.

From a Japan perspective, the news is MIXED. First, NO Japanese institution gets into this year's QS-Times HE top 20. On the other hand, there are more Japanese universities in the top 100.

At one point in the short history of these rankings, it looked like Japan's most well known university, Tokyo University (Todai), was going to make a run at the top 10, making it the true 'Harvard of the East'.

However, Todai has slipped out of the top 20 now. This could be explained by QS-Times HE changing their criteria some, with the changes penalizing non-Anglophone Todai and Japan. It might also, at least in part, be attributed to Todai's decreased ability to sponsor exchange with scholars and researchers overseas. And this decline could then be linked to overall less funding where it counts from the national government, now that the national universities (at the top of which heap Todai is always placed) are now administratively independent in the status of 'national university corporations' (NUCs)--at least somewhat, at least in theory, anyway. On the other hand, the fact that two other national universities have surged into the top 100 might indicate that the government is doing a better job in getting the NUCs to share the funding--perhaps. Perhaps one aspect worth a closer look is how Japan's elite private universities fared. None are in the top 100, but are any rising or entering the top 200? That is worth a future post here at the Japan HEO Blog.

Here are the results that are relevant to the discussion here. See the links for FULL information and all sorts of various rankings, analysis and the criteria. I have added, in the case of the Japanese institutions, last year's rank for comparison purposes.


The top 20 (in which there is no Japanese university):

2009 rank School Name Country
Source: QS Quacquarelli Symonds (www.topuniversities.com)

1 HARVARD University United States
2 University of CAMBRIDGE United Kingdom
3 YALE University United States
4 UCL (University College London) United Kingdom
5= IMPERIAL College London United Kingdom
5= University of OXFORD United Kingdom
7 University of CHICAGO United States
8 PRINCETON University United States
9 Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States
10 California Institute of Technology United States
11 COLUMBIA University United States
12 University of PENNSYLVANIA United States
13 JOHNS HOPKINS University United States
14 DUKE University United States
15 CORNELL University United States
16 STANFORD University United States
17 AUSTRALIAN National University Australia
18 Mcgill University Canada
19 University of MICHIGAN United States
20= ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of T... Switzerland
20= University of EDINBURGH United Kingdom

22 University of TOKYO Japan (was 19 in 2008)

25 KYOTO University Japan (no change)

43= OSAKA University Japan (was 44 in 2008)
43= TRINITY College Dublin Ireland

55= TOKYO Institute of Technology Japan (was 61 in 2008)

92= NAGOYA University Japan (not in top 100 last year)

97 TOHOKU University Japan (not in top 100 last year)

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