• Chinese universities take first and second place in this year’s Times Higher Education Asia university rankings.
  • Tsinghua and Peking universities knocked Singapore off the top spot for 2020.
  • But Asian universities still fare less well in global rankings.

China is looking like a key destination for Asia’s brightest and most ambitious students.

It is home to the continent’s top two universities for the first time, with Tsinghua and Peking Universities holding first and second place respectively.

The National University of Singapore – which topped the rankings from 2016-2018 – has fallen to third place.

The universities are assessed across all their core missions, including teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook, with the information compiled in the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings.

The highest ranked universities in Asia.
Image: The Times Higher Education

The researchers attribute Peking University’s success to an improvement in the research environment and extra industry income.

China and the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong now have six of the top 10 universities in Asia.

However, Asian universities are not as well-known or well-regarded as their Western counterparts, partly because they are typically newer.

Despite China’s regional success, its top university comes in at number 23 on the World University Rankings, well behind prestigious institutions such as Oxford and Cambridge in the United Kingdom and Stanford and Princeton in the United States.

But Asia is still providing a steady stream of newcomers to the rankings, with Macau University of Science and Technology, Beijing Normal University and the Indian Institute of Technology Ropar all featuring in the top 50 in their inaugural appearance this year.