Asian institutions dominate QS 50 Under 50 Rankings
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Asian institutions dominate QS 50 Under 50 Rankings

NANYANG Technological University (NTU) in Singapore held onto first place in this year’s QS top 50 Under 50 Rankings, a renowned listing of universities that were established less than 50 years ago.

NTU scored a total of 91.3/100 across a range of criteria, including research impact and staff to student ratio.

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology – aged 27-years-old – and Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) – aged 47-years-old – also managed to hold their places from last year’s rankings in second and third, respectively.

SEE ALSO: Hong Kong dominates Asian university rankings

Ranking Institution Country
1 Nanyang Technological University Singapore
2 The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Hong Kong
3 Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology South Korea
4 Université PSL France
5 City University of Hong Kong Hong Kong
6 Pohang University of Science And Technology (POSTECH) South Korea
7 The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Hong Kong
8 CentraleSupélec France
9 Aalto University Finland
10 University of Technology Sydney Australia
11 Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna Pisa di Studi Universitari e di Perfezionamento Italy
12 Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Malaysia
13 Universiti Putra Malaysia Malaysia
14 Universiti Sains Malaysia Malaysia
15 Maastricht University Netherlands
16 University of Wollongong Australia
17 University of Antwerp Belgium
18 Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Malaysia
19 Queensland University of Technology Australia
20 Curtin University Australia
21 RMIT University Australia
22 Universidad Carlos III de Madrid Spain
23 National Taiwan University of Science and Technology Taiwan
24 University of Tsukuba Japan
25 University of South Australia Australia
26 Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya Spain
27 Hong Kong Baptist University Hong Kong
28 National Yang-Ming University Taiwan
29 Universitat Pompeu Fabra Spain
30 Linköping University Sweden
31 Deakin University Australia
32 Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology South Korea
33 Khalifa University United Arab Emirates
34 Universiti Brunei Darussalam Brunei
35 Griffith University Australia
36 Qatar University Qatar
37 Aalborg University Denmark
38 National Research University Higher School of Economics Russia
39 United Arab Emirates University United Arab Emirates
40 Oxford Brookes University UK
41 Tampere University of Technology Finland
42 Universidad Austral Argentina
43 James Cook University Australia
44 American University of Sharjah United Arab Emirates
45 Swinburne University of Technology Australia
46 L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University Kazakhstan
47 Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences Pakistan
48 National Sun Yat-sen University Taiwan
49 Universidade Nova de Lisboa Portugal
50 Ben Gurion University of The Negev Israel

All of the top three universities can be found in Asia, while 16 of the top 50 Under 50 are also located on the continent. From this, it’s expected the trend towards studying in the economic powerhouse of Asia will continue, and Asian students will be much more likely to study closer to home.

Australia was the most represented country in the rankings, with 11 universities earning a place on the league table.

The US, UK and Canada are somewhat absent in the rankings. The UK features one institution Oxford Brookes University, located in the same town as its superior Oxford University – while the US and Canada have no universities in the Top 50 Under 50 2019.

This could see Australia reclaim its place as third most popular study abroad destination, a title that was stolen by Canada this year.


The University of Technology Sydney was the highest ranked out of 11 Australian institutions on the QS list. Source: Pisaphotography/ Shutterstock

Saying that, the QS Top 50 Under 50 tell a very different story to the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings released earlier this month. In these rankings, the UK was the most represented nation, followed by Australia. This indicates that it’s still too early draw certain predictions about what the rankings will mean for international students.

Dr Richard Holmes, Editor of University Ranking Watch told Study International: “New universities, especially in Asia and especially with strengths in technology, such as KAIST and Nanyang have been outscoring their older competitors in some of the significant rankings.”

SEE ALSO: Singapore: NTU trumps arch rival NUS again to be Asia’s best university

“Some new universities … seem to have more freedom to introduce innovative curricula, recruit international staff and leadership, avoid political interference and social restrictions in a way that established universities are unable to,” he added.

“But it seems that they need substantial support from state and/or private enterprise to really get off the ground.”

A version of this article originally appeared on our sister site Study International.