Indian universities failed to make their mark in a definitive list of the world’s top 100 prestigious educational institutions.
The ‘Times Higher Education (THE) World Reputation Rankings 2016’, released on May 4, was topped by Harvard University for the third consecutive year followed by two other American universities – Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), up from fourth position last year, and Stanford, up from fifth.
The UK’s famous Cambridge and Oxford universities slipped to occupy fourth and fifth place this year.
“With the population of young people in the country continuing to expand resulting in further pressure on resources, it is now more crucial than ever that India invests in research and strengthens its links with other nations,” said Phil Baty, editor of the ‘THE’ rankings.
“The government has spoken about improving its universities but is yet to implement an initiative in this area, which is surely holding back the nation’s reputation for higher education,” he added.
The annual ‘World Reputation Ranking’ is based on a statistically-representative, invitation-only survey of more than 10,000 scholars in 133 countries.
To reach the top 100 of the ranking requires a focus on publishing cutting-edge research to a wide global audience, a high international focus, and a commitment to professional communications and marketing of universities’ achievements.
“This is the top 100 of the most prestigious universities in the world – a tiny elite, representing only around 0.5 per cent of the world’s higher education institutions,” Baty explains, adding that India with a “proud university heritage” had performed well in the overall ‘THE World University Rankings’ released earlier this year, with 17 institutions making the cut.
India’s neighbouring regions held on to their reputation with Asia registering 18 institutions in the list with Japan’s University of Tokyo in 12th place and China’s Tsinghua University and Peking University at 18th and 21st respectively.
With five universities ranked this year, China easily leads the BRICS nations with Russia’s three institutions in this year’s ranking up from two last year.
Brazil’s single entry dropped this year, with the University of São Paulo dropping from the 51-60th band to the 91-100th.
South Africa joins India by not having a single university represented for its reputation at all.
The UK remains the second most-represented nation in the list after the US, with 10 universities, despite the fact two institutions – the University of Bristol and Durham University – have fallen out.
This year’s survey was carried out between January and March and received a total of 10,323 responses.
A questionnaire, administered on behalf of ‘THE’ by the firm Elsevier, targets only experienced, published scholars, who offer their views on excellence in research and teaching within their disciplines and at institutions with which they are familiar.
Institutions are then ranked according to data on their reputation for research and teaching.
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