NUS and NTU are now top in Asia – and thanks to almost perfect scores, also 11th best in the world

NUS earned perfect scores in almost every indicator, and NTU had the most number of citations per paper.

Singapore is the best place in Asia for tertiary education yet again.

The country’s two leading universities – National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) – have taken the top two spots on the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking of 550 universities in Asia.

Released on Wednesday (Nov 27), both institutions also tied at 11th place on the QS’ World University Rankings for 2020.


NUS scores almost perfectly

Indicator cores for both NUS (left) and NTU (right).
QS NUS and NTU profile

Maintaining its reign from last year, NUS earned perfect scores in almost every indicator, and only fell short in the areas of faculty-to-student ratio, international student ratio, number of faculty staff with a PhD and papers per faculty.

The university’s score of 71.3 for the papers per faculty indicator was the only one with a score below 95.

Despite this, its scores were still “a representation of how well rounded this top university really is,” QS said.

Just last month, NUS had also been named top in Asia on the US News & World Best Global Universities Rankings.

NTU has higher research quality

NTU, which rose one place both regionally and globally, was also given a 5+ Stars QS rating – the highest possible – based on indicators such as research, teaching, employability, internationalisation and more.

While it is second to NUS on the Asia list, NTU scored higher when it came to faculty-to-student ratio, which measures the extent to which institutions are able to provide students with meaningful access to lecturers and tutors. In this category, NTU attained a score of 98.1, while NUS scored 95.4.

Additionally, NTU had a higher institutional research quality as it achieved the most amount of citations per paper out of any university in the ranking – despite having a perfect score tie with NUS.

Both universities also tied in the areas of international faculty ratio and international student ratio, but NTU was 30 points below NUS when it came to the number of faculty staff with PhD qualifications.

SMU at 76th place in the region

Rounding off the top five in Asia were The University of Hong Kong and Beijing’s Tsinghua and Peking universities.

China and Hong Kong also dominated the top 10 with seven placings. South Korea’s KAIST (at 9th place) was the only non-Chinese university on the top 10 other than Singapore’s two institutions.

Meanwhile, Singapore Management University (SMU) moved up two spots on the Asia to reach 76th place, and also rose 23 spots on the global list to be ranked 477th.

Published annually since 2009, the QS rankings assesses universities based on 11 indicators, with each indicator carrying a different weightage when the final score is calculated.

Of the 11 indicators, the ones with the highest weightage are: academic reputation; employer reputation; faculty-to-student ratio; international research network; citations per paper; papers per faculty; and number of faculty staff with PhD.

QS Top 10 Universities in Asia 2020

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