Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) has taken the top spot among Korean universities in the latest Times Higher Education (THE) Asia University Rankings published on Wednesday. KAIST was ranked eighth in Asia, and followed by Seoul National University or SNU (second in Korea, ninth in Asia) and POSTECH (third in Korea, tenth in Asia).
This is the first time that KAIST has attained the top position in Korea in this ranking of Asian universities since it was introduced in 2013. The university jumped two spots from last year to rank first in Korea with outstanding improvement in the category of teaching and research. SNU remained at second position while POSTECH fell by one rank to third.
The top five positions in Asia were claimed by universities in Singapore, China and Hong Kong. The National University of Singapore (NUS) topped the Asian list for two consecutive years. China’s Peking University and Tsinghua University took the second and third spots, respectively. The fourth place was taken by Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the fifth by University of Hong Kong and the sixth by its neighbor Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).
Tokyo University which took pole position in the 2015 Asian rankings ranked seventh this year for two straight years.
Three Korean universities entered the Asia’s top 10 and a total of 15 were included in the top 100, up by two from 13 in 2016. But Korea still has a long way to go as its top three schools stay among the lowest in the top 10 Asian universities. Overall, Korean universities showed low scores in key indicators of research, citation and international outlook. In contrast, China and Hong Kong have the highest density of top institutions with 24 Chinese universities and six Hong Kong universities in the top 100.
“After intensive investment and globalization efforts, many other Chinese universities like Fudan University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University have become distinguished. This is different from 20 to 30 years ago when only Peking University and Tsinghua University were known to the outside,” said Phil Baty, THE rankings editor.