IISc, IIT Bombay among top universities in emerging economies

Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and some of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) were ranked among the top 50 varsities in the Times Higher Education Emerging Economies University Rankings 2018, issued on Wednesday. IIT Kharagpur climbed 26 places to break into the top 50 universities.

IISc was ranked 13th, up from its previous position of 14, IIT Bombay maintained its ranking of 26. IIT Kharagpur was placed at 45th position. National Institute of Technology, Rourkela was the highest riser, with a jump of 57 positions. This jump was attributed to its research work and increase in citations. 

Overall, 42 Indian institutions participated in the ranking this year, up from 27 last year. The Indian varsities were competing against 350 universities and institutions from 42 emerging economies, including China, Taiwan, Russia, Brazil and Indonesia.

However, most Indian universities, including the IIT at Kanpur, Delhi and Chennai, slipped in ranking. IIT Kanpur fell from 32nd to 49th position this year, whereas IIT Delhi came down to 63th position from its previous ranking of 32. IIT Madras was down to 70, from its previous position of 35. 

Phil Baty, editorial director of global rankings for Times Higher Education (THE), said India’s plan to increase international student numbers was encouraging. “The new Institutions of Eminence initiative, which closely aligns with THE’s own world-class excellence model, certainly has the potential to elevate its selected universities on the global stage. Similar strategies have raised standards in many other emerging economy higher education systems, including China, and there is cause for optimism here, too,” he said.

India has taken several measures to improve global rankings of its universities in the recent past. These measures include establishing its own ranking process and allowing graded autonomy to some institutions for hiring foreign faculty and designing new courses. India is also in the process of setting up 20 institutes of eminence, with an aim to break into the world’s top 100 universities.

Overall, Chinese universities continue to dominate with rankings. China’s Peking and Tsinghua universities claim the top two spots for fifth consecutive year. However, the gap between its elite universities and the rest has widened. 

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