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Taiwan’s top university leaps in reputation ranking

Taipei, March 15 (CNA) National Taiwan University (NTU) leaped in world rankings for reputation in the areas of teaching and research, according to the results of the latest Times Higher Education survey.

NTU moved up two brackets from 81-90 to 61-70 and was the only university in Taiwan to make it into the top 100 in the Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings released a day earlier.

Thanks to a five-year, NT$50 billion (US$1.69 billion) government subsidy program, NTU has been moving up in other world rankings, including the U.K.'s QS World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities conducted by Shanghai's Jiao Tong University, said an NTU official.

Given that only 0.5 percent of all universities in the world made it into the top 100, the ascendance of NTU into the top 100 is expected to boost Taiwan's efforts to recruit overseas students, especially from Southeast Asia, Chern Ji-wang, NTU's dean of research and development, was quoted by local media as saying.

The progress in the Times Higher Education rankings met the school's expectations, but NTU has set its sights on getting into the top 50, Chern added.

NTU is widely recognized for its research capacity, with its academic papers showing up in prestigious publications and being cited by academics the world over, said Phil Baty, an editor of the survey.

Harvard University tops the chart, while the United States as a whole boasts seven universities in the top 10 and 44 in total rankings -- the most by country among the countries surveyed.

Placed second was Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, Stanford University and University of California at Berkeley.

The top 50 universities are each assigned a ranking and a numerical score for reputation in this year's survey, while those outwith the top 50 are given a group ranking from 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, 81-90, and 91-100, without being assigned a specific score.

The relative rankings among individual universities did not change much from last year, but colleges in East Asia have shown steady upward progress, including schools in Taiwan and China, Baty said.

Compared with schools in some Western countries, which have been trimming educational spending because of economic uncertainty, Asian governments are boosting their best universities with special funding, he noted.

The top-performer in Asia this year was Japan's University of Tokyo at 8th, followed by National University of Singapore, which moved from 34th to 23rd this year.

Next in line were China's Tsinghua University, which advanced from 35th last year to 30th, and the University of Hong Kong, which edged up from 42nd to 39th, while South Korea's Seoul National University leaped from 109th to the 51-60 bracket this year.

The survey shows that Asian universities are gaining more clout but it will take time for them to surpass their counterparts in the West, Baty said.

The survey was conducted between 2011-2012, in which 17,500 academics from 137 countries were asked to give their views on the universities' performances in terms of teaching and research.

(By Hsu Chih-wei, Jennifer Huang and Scully Hsiao)

http://focustaiwan.tw/ShowNews/WebNews_Detail.aspx?Type=aALL&ID=201203150027

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