It’s a breakthrough year for universities based in mainland China, as two of its institutions have broken into the Top 100 for the first time in this year’s Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), which was released on Monday.

Tsinghua University, one of the country’s top universities, was the highest ranking Chinese institution in the list, placing at 58th, while Peking University grabbed the 71st spot.

Last year, both universities had just missed making the coveted top 100.


Screenshot via Shanghai Ranking.


Australia also saw two more universities passing the mark, as Monash University and the University of Sydney jumped to 79th and 82nd place respectively.

They join the University of Melbourne, the University of Queensland, the Australian National University, and the University of Western Australia, making it a record total of six Australian universities in the top 100 club.

The National University of Singapore also entered the top 100 for the first time, tying for 83rd with Canada’s McMaster University and the University of California, Santa Cruz in the U.S.


Since its inception in 2003, the ranking’s top spots have remained largely unchanged, only shuffling among the same big names, with U.S. universities dominating. This year, around half of the Top 100 comprises U.S. institutions.

Harvard University ranked as the world’s number one university for the 14th consecutive year, while Stanford University also maintained its second place position.

The other eight places in the top 10 are occupied by U.S. universities, except for 4th and 7th place, which were taken up by the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford respectively.


In the Asia-Pacific region, the University of Tokyo was the highest ranked at number 20, while in continental Europe, it was the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich at 19th place.

The ARWU, also known as Shanghai Ranking, is put together by the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy and ranks universities purely on their research output, putting emphasis on papers in the fields of science, math, and medicine over other disciplines, which some universities have criticized.

According to the consultancy, it uses “objective indicators” to determine the ranking, including factors like how many members of staff and alumni have won Nobel prizes or Fields medals, as well as the volume of articles published in prominent academic journals such as Nature and Science.

The consultancy looks at over 1,200 universities across the world, narrowing it down to the best 500 universities, which are published in the annual ranking.

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