In a boost to the government’s drive to make the country’s higher education institutions world class, a record 31 Indian institutes have found a place in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2016-17.
The University of Oxford has become the first UK University to top the Times Higher Education World University Rankings in the 12-year history of the table. It knocks the five-time leader, the California Institute of Technology, into second place in the World University Rankings 2016-2017.
While Times Higher Education (THE) has expanded the number of universities in the list to 980 from 800 last year, India has 19 institutes in the top 800, two more than last year.
Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore has climbed to the highest position till date for an Indian institute, even as a place in the top 200 list continues to elude the country. IISc now figures in the 201-250 band, up from 251-300 last time.
Other Indian universities which have found a place in the list include Jadavpur University, Aligarh Muslim University, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, University of Calcutta, University of Delhi, IIT Guwahati, National Institute of Technology Rourkela, Panjab University, Savitribai Phule Pune University.
South Asia as a whole has almost doubled its representation in this year’s list of the world’s top 980 universities, claiming 39 places, up from 20 last year. Sri Lanka makes its debut at the table with the University of the Colombo in the 801+ band, while Pakistan has five new entries, taking its total to seven.
Phil Baty, editor of Times Higher Education World University Rankings said that while most Asian countries are suffering from an ageing population, the numbers of young people in South Asia are booming. “India is set to have the largest student population by 2025, with the number of 18 to 22-year-olds predicted to reach 119 million,” he said.