Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) emerged as #1 in the QS Top 50 Under 50 ranking for the third consecutive year.

The research-intensive university is ranked 13th globally in the QS World University Rankings 2016/17, and is known for its cutting-edge research and revolutionary technological innovation.

Here are the top 20 universities in the ranking:

NTU is followed closely by five other Asian institutions: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), City University of Hong Kong, Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Such a strong performance from promising universities just goes to show that Asian nations are serious about their ambitions to make their higher education institutions into top world-class universities.

Hong Kong has four institutions on the list, same as Malaysia, while Taiwan and South Korea are both represented by three universities each.


Another notable trend among the best young universities is the high concentration of universities that focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, as can be seen in the top 20 institutions in the ranking.

QS’s head of research, Ben Sowter, said: “The rankings suggest that young universities focused on strong STEM-based research programmes stand the best chance of disrupting any established global elite.”

However, Australia is the most represented country on the list, with 10 of its institutions making the top 50. As for European institutions, 18 of its universities made the list, including five universities from Spain, two from the UK, and two from Finland.

Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Japan, Argentina, Qatar, and the U.S. were also featured in the ranking, showing that while many of the best young institutions can be found in emerging countries, established centers of education are still seeing new blood coming in.


In addition to publishing the Top 50 Under 50, QS has also released the Next 50 Under 50 alongside it, which is said to highlight the up-and-coming universities to keep an eye on.

Rather than ranking them individually, however, they are presented in groups of 10. Among the institutions making their debut in the ranking are: Singapore Management University (in the 51-60 band), Australia’s Central Queensland University (81-90), and Malaysia’s Universiti Teknologi Petronas (91-100).

Looking at the list, universities in Middle Eastern countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain appear to be on the rise as well, including the UAE’s American University of Sharjah and Khalifa University (both in the 51-60 band), as well as Bahrain’s Arabian Gulf University (61-70).

For the full QS Top 50 Under 50 list, plus the Next 50 Under 50, check out

Image via YouTube

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