QS University Rankings: Asia – Battle of the Big 3

The QS University Rankings – Asia (Results | Methodology) were launched yesterday and have been widely viewed across the region and the world. Hong Kong University of Science & Technology and National University of Singapore take the top two spots but there are three large systems that each have a high number of well placed institutions in the table: Japan, Korea and China.

Studying the rankings trends of these three systems seems to show that Japan remains the leading system in the region but that its lead position is being rapidly eroded while those of China and Korea are in the ascendancy.

Representation in Asia's Top 200

The above chart reveals the number of institutions from each of the three systems that have been featured in the Top 200 in each of the last three years. We can see dramatic improvements at all levels for China and a gradual decline for Japan. The situation for Korea is even more interesting, with a gradual decline in total institutions within the 200 but solid increases in those within 100. Perhaps revealing a system with diverging poles of quality relative to the regional context.

Average Rank of Leading Institutions

This second chart looks at the movement in average ranks amongst the top 5, 10 and 20 institutions in each of the three countries and it reveals a similar trend with Korean and Chinese institutions moving up to assail Japan’s still dominant position. The ascent of China’s top 20 is particularly marked.

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