China has for the first time overcome Japan in sheer number of institutions represented among Asia’s top 100, according to the Times Higher Education Asia Rankings 2015 released this month. With three more institutions than last year, for a total of 21 overall (excluding Hong Kong), China leads the region, followed by Japan (19 universities), South Korea (13), Taiwan (11) and India (9). With the exception of China, all four of these nations have all experienced minor losses in this year’s rankings, compared to last.
Upon closer inspection, we find the University of Tokyo in the first place, followed by the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the University of Hong Kong in the second and third place respectively. China claims the remaining top 5 spots, with Peking University and Tsinghua University. Again, an impressive feat from China, but one that must be weighed against the size of its population and higher education system. By contrast, with a population of barely 7 million, Hong Kong manages to place all six of its ranked universities among the list’s top 50, including, of course, its star, the University of Hong Kong (2nd place overall). Japan also deserves applause; despite a significant drop in overall number of institutions represented (19, as opposed to 20 last year and 22 in 2013), it still poses a great challenge to China.