Turkish universities stand out

Nieuws | de redactie
4 december 2014 | China can hardly be considered an ‘emerging economy’. Because it’s still part of the BRICS-countries, it’s also part of the Times Higher Education BRIC & Emerging Economies Rankings 2015. Beijing and Tsinghua University top the list, while Turkey surprises.

The BRICS consist of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South-Africa, while other emerging economies like Taiwan, Turkey and Colombia make the first 100 in the THE Ranking. It’s Turkey especially that stands out in this year’s ranking with three universities (Bosporus University, Middle East Technical University and Istanbul Technical University) in the top ten.

Large Hadron Collider gives a boost

“Some of Turkey’s institutions have been given a boost to their research impact scores through their scholars’ involvement in the extremely high-impact research at the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern), but they have also benefited from increased research spending in Turkey”, Abdullah Atalar, president of Turkey’s Bilkent University, tells THE.

While Turkey as well as Taiwan are very well present in the THE Ranking, Brazil, India and Russia seem to dissapoint. “Brazil and India are basically doing nothing about improving their top universities”, says Philip Altbach, director of the Center for International Higher Education at Boston College in the US.

For Russia, the future looks more bright. “Russia builds on a strong academic tradition that has been neglected in recent years, and is engaging in several impressive efforts, including designating some of the top institutions as ‘national research universities’.”

“In Brazil, the national government has had no national higher education vision that would improve the research university sector. India has recently been thinking about how to improve the generally rather poor state of its universities, but has not implemented anything as yet.”

China still on top

Meanwhile, China is still on top in the youngest THE Ranking, with Peking and Tsinghua University on top of the list and 27 HE institutions among the first 100. “China is the only BRIC country that has moved ahead impressively – although its universities seem to be having challenges in going to the top tier in the global rankings. China, for almost two decades, has had a coherent plan to build up its research universities to ‘world-class’ quality and it has devoted considerable resources to this,” Altbach says. 

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