Singapore universities’ marks for research and citations

While Singapore this year has not one but two universities ranked among the top 100 in the world, they still get comparatively low marks in one category.

I am referring to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2012-13, where the National University of Singapore (NUS) is now ranked 29th and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) 86th. Both have done better than last year.  NUS has moved up 11 places and NTU a staggering 83 places to finish in the top 100.

NUS and NTU both get comparatively low marks for citations, however – 67.2 for NUS and 54.5 for NTU.

Citations: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13

Citations: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13

Even lower ranked institutions such as University of York (103rd) and Dartmouth College (124th) get higher marks for citations – 83.4 and 87 respectively – even though they get lower marks for research – 43.9 and 35.9 respectively.  NUS, on the other hand, gets 87.2 for research and NTU 66.9. Dartmouth, unlike other Ivy League colleges, is not a research-based institution and yet  gets more for citations.

Research: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13

Research: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13

To get a more comprehensive picture, the top-ranked US and UK universities are included in these charts along with the leading universities of Hong Kong, China, Japan and South Korea.

Teaching: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13

Teaching: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13

NTU gets low marks for teaching (45.7) compared with NUS (74.4).

Industry income: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13

Industry income: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13

But NTU gets a near perfect score (99.5) for industry income, much more than NUS (77.4). South Korea’s Pohang University of Science and Technology gets full marks (100) and Peking University and Tsinghua University also get more than 99 in this category. The California Institute of Technology (Caltech), the world’s top-ranked university this year, gets 95.6 and MIT, ranked fifth, gets 92.9. Joint runners-up Oxford and Stanford don’t get such high marks in this category, nor does seventh-placed Cambridge.  Fourth-placed Harvard gets low marks in this, like Dartmouth and York.

International outlook: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13

International outlook: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13

The Singapore universities get high marks for international outlook: NUS, 92.3 and NTU, 90.5.

Incidentally, the University of Tokyo is the top-ranked Asian university, ranked 27th overall, two spots higher than NUS. The University of Hong Kong is 35th, Peking 46th, Pohang 50th, Tsinghua 52nd on the list. Princeton, sixth, Imperial College London, eighth, Berkeley ninth and Chicago, 10th, are not shown in the charts to avoid clutter in the graphics.

The Times Higher Education website explains this is how the universities are ranked.

  • Teaching: the learning environment (worth 30 per cent of the overall score)
  • Research : volume, income and reputation (30 per cent)
  • Citations: research influence (30 per cent)
  • Industry income: innovation (worth 2.5 per cent)
  • International outlook: staff, students and research (worth 7.5 per cent)