Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has for the second year running trumped a Hong Kong rival to secure top spot in a league table of the world's best young universities.
This year, NTU has widened the lead over Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) with an overall score of 93.9, compared with HKUST's 88 points, in the ranking by London-based education consultancy Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) released this morning. There were 100 universities in QS' ranking this year.
Last year, NTU pipped its Hong Kong rival to the top position by just 0.7 point, with a score of 84 points.
This time round, NTU has improved its scores in research citations, academic and employer reputation, and faculty-to-student ratio. It also scored well for its internationally diverse faculty and student communities.
QS said that the ranking shows that NTU, which was set up in 1991, has not rested on its laurels after being ranked as the world's best young university last year.
"On the contrary, it has enjoyed a huge leap in its World University Rankings position, and retains its position here despite the challenge from HKUST. Both results provide evidence of Nanyang's increasing status as one of the world's elite educational establishments," said a QS spokesman. NTU shot up 26 places to the 13th spot in this year's QS' World University Rankings released in September.
The top six universities in the latest league table are all from Asia. Hong Kong has three universities and South Korea has two universities in this year's top 10, with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology taking third place. Only universities under 50 years old participate in the ranking.
Singapore Management University is not included as it is considered a specialised university.
NTU President Bertil Andersson said its performance shows that being a young university should not be a hindrance in making an impact on a global scale.
Professor Andersson, a renowned plant biochemist who became NTU president in 2011, said he is often asked the reasons for NTU's rapid rise when he is overseas.
"My answer is simple - it's people, people and people. NTU today is a talent magnet that draws some of the world's best professors and students," he said, adding that the quality of students at NTU has been rising rapidly each year.
He noted that this year, there was an 89 per cent increase in top students enrolling at NTU, compared with 2011, which was the year before the university rolled out innovative programmes like the Renaissance Engineering Programme and the medical school it opened with Imperial College London.
He added that data from Thomson Reuters in the last two years showed that NTU leads the other top Asian universities in normalised citation impact. NTU also has close collaborations with global industry players such as BMW, Rolls-Royce and Lockheed Martin.
Earlier this year, NTU was also named the world's fastest-rising young university by Times Higher Education, another ranking house.