Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on November 12, 2007
A new survey is out that is bound to add to the angst that some Indians feel about China. A British ranking of the world’s top 200 universities is now out – and there are no Indian schools on the list. Meanwhile, there are six universities from China, ten if you include the four Hong Kong schools that made the list in addition to the ones from the PRC.
School rankings, of course, are always a bit dodgy. This one, done by the Times of London with Quacquarelli Symonds, is no different. For instance, the University of Hong Kong comes in at No. 18, one place ahead of Stanford University. No offense to Hong Kong’s oldest university, but come on, how many people out there really buy the idea that Hong Kong U is a better school than Stanford?
Still, rankings are rankings and lots of people like them. So it’s not great for the image of India’s top schools that not one makes the list. According to this report in the Hindu, entitled “India falls off the league table of top universities,” this is the first time that no Indian university makes the top 200. The fact that so many Chinese schools are ranked, the Hindu writes, “reveal[s] a wide gap in higher educational standards between the two competing Asian giants.” The paper finds some consolation in the fact that two Indian schools - IIT Delhi and IIT Mumbai – make the top 50 tech rankings, “with the former at 37 and latter at 33.” Even so, adds the Hindu, that puts “both way behind China’s Tsinghua University, placed at 16.” This latest ranking will likely provide more ammunition to Indian critics of the country’s higher education system (for instance, see this post I did last year) who argue that the government needs to do more to encourage more students and professors to focus on science and technology in order to keep pace with the Chinese.