China scoops four of the five top spots in THE Emerging Economies University Rankings 2019
China’s Tsinghua University is ranked first in the THE Emerging Economies University Rankings 2019. Source: Shutterstock

China has dominated four of the five top spots in the Times Higher Education (THE) Emerging Economies University Rankings 2019, remaining the most-represented nation in this year’s listing.

The country has 72 institutions in the rankings, up from 63 last year.

Tsinghua University has scooped the top spot, overtaking Peking University, which ranks second this year. Zhejiang University and the University of Science and Technology of China rank third and fourth respectively, while Russia’s Lomonosov Moscow State University rounds off the top five.

India is still the second most-represented country in the list, with 49 institutions included.

Top 10 Universities in the THE Emerging Economies University Rankings 2019

Institution name Country/region 2019 ranking 2018 ranking
Tsinghua University China 1 2
Peking University China 2 1
Zhejiang University China 3 6
University of Science and Technology of China China 4 5
Lomonosov Moscow State University Russia 5 3
Fudan University China 6 4
Nanjing University China 7 8
Shanghai Jiao Tong University China 8 7
University of Cape Town South Africa 9 9
National Taiwan University Taiwan 10 10
Source: THE

This year’s ranking, which feature 442 universities from 43 countries, includes only institutions in countries classified by the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) as “advanced emerging”, “secondary emerging” or “frontier”.

“The rankings use the same 13 performance indicators as the THE World University Rankings to judge institutions on their teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. But they are recalibrated to reflect the development priorities of universities in emerging economies,” THE says on its website.

Meanwhile, THE rankings editor and international reporter Ellie Bothwell said, based on THE’s latest ranking, Egypt and Malaysia are among the fastest-improving higher education systems in developing countries this past year.

“Both countries increased their representation in the THE Emerging Economies University Rankings 2019 despite rising competition from mainland China, with Egypt claiming 19 spots, up from nine last year, and Malaysia taking 11, also up from nine,” she said.

The rapid higher education progress is attributed to improvements in citation impact.

“An analysis of country performance based on universities that feature in both the 2019 and 2018 tables show that Egypt’s and Malaysia’s average overall scores rose by almost three points, largely driven by improvements to their citation impact scores,” said Bothwell.

“In comparison, India’s average score improved by about 1.6 points. In addition, Malaysia’s average scores for the 13 individual performance indicators in the ranking all improved since last year.”

Despite Malaysia and Egypt’s rise, some nations have stagnated or declined.

“Brazil is a prime example; 17 of its 36 representatives have declined, including its two leading universities. The University of São Paulo drops one place to 15th, its lowest position ever, while the University of Campinas slips seven places to joint 40th,” adds Bothwell.

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