China makes record-breaking achievements in latest league table as experts predict that the pandemic may accelerate the country’s rise

Chinese universities have made several historic gains in the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings, with data revealing that the Asian giant is closing in on, and in some areas overtaking, the US in terms of research.

China is home to the first Asian university in the top 20 of the ranking since the current methodology was introduced in 2011, after Tsinghua University climbed three places to joint 20th this year. The country has also doubled its number of top 100 representatives, from three to six, in the past year, while all bar one of its top 20 institutions in last year’s ranking have improved or maintained their performance.

The country’s gains in the 2021 edition of the ranking are part of a long-term trend of continued advancement for the east Asian nation. Three of the four Chinese institutions that were ranked in the 201-300 band in the 2016 edition of the ranking are now among the top 100 (Nanjing University, the exception, is on the cusp of entering this group, at joint 111th).

In contrast, while a few US universities that were in the 201-300 band in 2016 have since moved up, none has made it to the top 100, and several have drifted downwards.

Read more : Ellie Bothwell : Times Higher Education : 02 September 2020