The data does not lie: in successive editions of the annual Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Western nations have been losing ground while the East rises.
In 2016, just two universities from mainland China made the world top 200. Today the number is seven – led by Tsinghua University in Beijing, which made history by entering the world top 20 for the first time in 2021.
In the same period, Hong Kong has increased its representation from three to five institutions and South Korea from four to seven. Singapore is home to one of the world’s fastest-rising universities, Nanyang Technological University, which now sits in the world top 50, having rather symbolically lured one of the US’ most distinguished scholars, former US National Science Foundation director Subra Suresh, to lead its next phase of development.
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