Only 64 Indian universities in CWUR 2023, none in top 400 as China, US dominate rankings

Only 64 Indian universities in CWUR 2023, none in top 400 as China, US dominate rankings

The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) has emerged as the best Indian institute at 419th position.

Abhishek NairUpdated: Tuesday, May 16, 2023, 04:32 PM IST
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IIM Ahmedabad has emerged as the best Indian institute in CWUR 2023 rankings. | Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

Mumbai: Indian universities have failed to make a mark in the top 400 universities across the world, according to the newly released Central World University Rankings 2023 rankings.

The rankings, which rank over 2000 universities across the world, have only featured 64 universities from India, compared to 314 from China, 114 from Japan, and 332 from the United States.

IITS, IIMs remain outside of top 400 but among the best in India 

The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) has emerged as the best Indian institute at 419th position.

Moreover, The Indian Institute of Science fell 3 places to 491st, while the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) climbed 10 spots to 554th – ahead of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) at number 570 and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in 580th position.

The top ten among Indian varsities is rounded out by the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (607), University of Delhi (621), Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (721), Panjab University (759), and Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (823).

Funding issues hit Indian universities, says report 

Concerns remain that Indian universities are stagnating in performance while facing stiff competition from rival institutions across the world. 

“In the global top 2000, 33 universities from India improved from last year, with 31 falling down the rankings. The main factor for the decline of nearly half the Indian universities is research performance, amid intensified global competition from well-funded institutions. In the Global 2000 list, 32 universities from India rank better than last year in research performance, 3 maintain their spots, and 29 rank lower,” said a statement by CWUR. 

Funding has emerged as one of the major hurdles for Indian universities to leave behind their peers from other parts of the world.

“While India is well represented in this year’s rankings, the country’s top institutions are under increasing pressure from well-funded universities from around the world. Funding to further promote the development and reputation of India’s higher education system is vital if the country aspires to be more competitive on the global stage,” stated Dr. Nadim Mahassen, President of the Center for World University Rankings. 

“Efforts must be made to ensure that India attracts top academics and students, that increasing enrollment numbers at universities come alongside increases in teaching capacity, and that tertiary education expenditure as a percentage of the national GDP steadily grows in the years to come,” Mahassen added. 

Asian neighbours showcase a mixed bag

India’s eastern neighbours have fared well this year with ninety-six percent of Chinese universities ranking better than in 2022, led by Tsinghua University at number 44. All nine institutions of the C9 League, the Chinese version of the US Ivy League, saw improvements this year.

While the University of Tokyo is still Asia’s highest-ranked institution, ranking 13th worldwide, 86% of Japan’s 114 representatives in the Global 2000 lost ground this year as a result of the government's low expenditure on tertiary education in prior years, as per the report. 

The top ten universities in Asia this year are Tokyo (Japan, 13th), Kyoto (Japan, 27th), Seoul National University (South Korea, 31st), Tsinghua (China, 44th), Peking (China, 49th), University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (China, 55th), Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel, 70th), Shanghai Jiao Tong (China, 74th), National University of Singapore (Singapore, 81st), and Zhejiang (China, 85th). 

UK, US dominate but decline evident 

Maintaining the tradition of dominating world university rankings, universities from the US and UK have figured among the top 10 across the world.

For the twelfth year in a row, Harvard is the top university in the world, followed by two other private US institutions, MIT and Stanford, while the UK’s Cambridge and Oxford – ranking fourth and fifth respectively – are the world’s top public higher educational institutions. The rest of the global top ten is rounded out by private US universities: Princeton, Chicago, Columbia, Pennsylvania, and Yale.

Though the US has claimed 8 spots out of the top 10 worldwide, nearly eighty percent of American universities slipped down. Similarly, the UK which has 93 universities in the global 2000 has seen a decline in nearly sixty percent of its institutions.

The top ten universities in Europe this year are Cambridge (UK, 4th), Oxford (UK, 5th), UCL (UK, 19th), PSL (France, 21st), Imperial College (UK, 29th), ETH Zurich (Switzerland, 30th), Paris Saclay (France, 32nd), Copenhagen (Denmark, 35th), Karolinska Institute (Sweden, 38th), and Paris City University (France, 39th).

“While the results of this year’s study confirm that the United States has the top higher education system in the world, the broader story for the US is concerning, with nearly eighty percent of American universities falling down the standings due to intensified global competition from well-funded institutions, particularly from China. The overall slide of US universities mirrors those of French, German, and Japanese institutions, while the declines of UK and Russian universities have been less severe,” stated Mahassen, who added that ‘American and European universities cannot afford to rest on their laurels,’ in light of Chinese dominance. \

Four key indicators used to assess global rankings 

CWUR, one of the largest publishers of the largest academic ranking of global universities, analysed 62 million outcome-based data points to rank universities from around the world according to four factors: quality of education (25%), employability (25%), quality of faculty (10%), and research performance (40%). This year, 20531 universities were ranked, and those that placed at the top made the Global 2000 list, which includes institutions from 95 countries.

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