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Chinese universities continue to climb

By WANG MINGJIE in London | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-09-28 09:17

Tourists and students take pictures outside a gate of Peking University in Beijing in June. [Photo/China Daily]

Two Chinese universities, Tsinghua University and Peking University, are steadily approaching the top 10 of the Times Higher Education, or THE's World University Rankings.

Tsinghua University, the highest-placed university in the Chinese mainland, has secured 12th position in the latest rankings. Peking University follows closely behind in 14th, in another year of progress for Chinese academia.

Both universities have made significant advancements from their previous positions, with Tsinghua University moving from 16th to 12th, and Peking University rising from 17th to 14th, the highest position either institution has ever attained.

The Chinese mainland now boasts two universities in the top 20, seven in the top 100, and 13 in the top 200, showing a substantial improvement from 2018, when it only had two top-100 institutions.

During the past five years, Chinese mainland universities have shown remarkable progress, with their overall score increasing from 35.5 in 2020 to 48.9 in 2024.

Phil Baty, THE's chief global affairs officer, commented on China's "extraordinary rise" in the rankings, noting that in 2004, only four Chinese universities made the top 200, while this year there are 13, with six of them in the top 60.

He attributed the achievement to the Chinese government's consistent investment in higher education and research and development over the past two decades, under the state's policy to become a "major country of education".

Based on current trends, Baty believes China will soon have a university in the world's top 10, particularly following the government's goal to establish "a powerful country of education" by 2035, with advances in scientific research and educational development.

The number of Chinese universities in the top 400 has significantly increased, from 18 last year to 30 this year, making the Chinese mainland the region ranked fifth-highest.

The University of Oxford in the United Kingdom holds top spot in THE's World University Rankings, followed by Stanford University in second place as the highest-ranked university in the United States. Massachusetts Institute of Technology secured third place.

Hong Kong continues to have a notable concentration of top universities, with the University of Hong Kong ranked 35th, five institutions in the top 100, and six in the top 350. The University of Macau has broken into the top 200, jointly ranked 193rd. National Taiwan University remains in the top 200, climbing 35 positions from last year to reach joint 152nd. All of Taiwan's top 10 universities are within the top 600 of the World University Rankings.

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