Education and Skills

These are the world's best new universities

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Turkey has a total of 47 institutions represented in the world university rankings. Image: Unsplash/Pang Yuhao

Charlotte Edmond
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  • Nanyang Technological University, Singapore has been ranked as the best university under 50 years old, according to the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings.
  • A total of 605 universities are ranked with the most coming from Turkey, India and Iran.
  • The World Economic Forum’s Education 4.0 India Initiative aims to use digital tools to ensure school children in the country aren’t left behind after the pandemic.

Some of the world’s best universities have existed for centuries. But age isn't everything.

The Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Rankings charts the performance of institutions under 50 years old. The organization found that Nanyang Technological University, Singapore leads the way as the best “young” university in 2023, followed by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL Research University Paris), which was in first place last year, falls to third.

The young university hierarchy uses the same 13 criteria and the THE’s main university rankings, but places less emphasis on reputation when weighting. Each university is judged across the core criteria of teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

List showing the world university rankings in 2023.
Six of the top 10 young universities are also in the top 100 World University Rankings. Image: Times Higher Education

There are three institutions from Hong Kong in the top 10, more than any other territory, while France has five institutions in the top 20.

Coming in 29th place, Italy’s Humanitas University is the highest new entry in the ranking.


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New universities, new territories

There are 78 different territories represented in the rankings, which include 605 universities in total. Of these, 47 come from Turkey, and India follows closely behind with 45 institutions represented. Iran has overtaken the UK to become the third most represented nation.

India, Turkey and Iran have all seen the number of universities in the rankings at least double in the past five years.

List showing the top ten countries/region represented in the world university rankings.
Turkey and India both have over 40 universities in the rankings. Image: Times Higher Education

Recognizing that the pandemic has widened the gaps in learning outcomes among schoolchildren in many countries, including India, the World Economic Forum collaborated with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and YuWaah! (Generation Unlimited India) to launch the Education 4.0 India initiative. The initiative convened over 40 partners from the education technology, government, academic and start-up communities to address these challenges through digital learning.

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