Analysis of ranking since 2011 suggests China is not making same ground as in research-based rankings, while Germany and South Korea have leapt forward.
Global higher education has become well accustomed to China’s march up university research-based rankings. In the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Tsinghua University became the best-placed university in Asia and five of its seven top 200 universities climbed the list.
But it appears that Chinese universities are not making the same kind of ground for graduate employability, according to a new analysis based on eight years of the Global University Employability Ranking.
According to the analysis – which looks at how countries have fared in the ranking since its first edition in 2011 – China’s overall performance is only slightly better than four years ago and actually fell back this year.
China’s slower trajectory for employability also compares unfavourably with other East Asian nations: South Korea in particular now has almost as many entries in the top 150 of the ranking as China and has almost doubled its number of institutions represented since last year.
Meanwhile, the analysis also illustrates how universities in the US, UK and France have fallen back since 2011, while Germany has bucked the European trend to be second only to the US for the number of universities in the top 150.
This year’s edition of the ranking – which has been published by THE since 2015 but run since 2011 by Paris-based human resources consultancy Emerging and employment research institute Trendence – is still led by US institutions, although there is one fewer in the top 10 compared with last year.
Harvard University comes top, moving up one spot to switch places with the California Institute of Technology. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Cambridge both move up one place to third and fourth while Stanford University moves up two, completing the top five.
The wider analysis comes from looking at the relative performance of countries in each employability ranking since 2011. An aggregate score was calculated every year for each country based on the placings of its institutions in the top 150. A university scored 150 points for coming first, 149 for second and so on.
Although the US is still a long way ahead in terms of its overall aggregate score in 2018 – its 34 universities scored just under 3,000 points based on their placings – this is down from having 55 universities in the top 150 in 2011 and a total of more than 4,600 points.
Read more : Simon Baker : Times Higher Education : 14 November 2018