Times Higher EducationBy Jack Grove. UK loses some gloss in second global table of institutions shy of middle age. South Korea’s Pohang University of Science and Technology heads a list of the world’s top 100 universities under 50 years old for the second consecutive year, while the UK’s “plate-glass” universities have lost some ground. Founded in 1986, Pohang – better known as Postech – retains its top spot in Times Higher Education’s second annual 100 Under 50 rankings, comfortably ahead of Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in second place.
Postech’s national rival, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Kaist), rises from fifth to third, while the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology drops one place to fourth. Only one UK institution – the University of York, in seventh place – makes the top 10, compared with three last year. After York, the highest-placed UK institutions are the University of Warwick (13th), Lancaster University (14th) and the University of East Anglia (16th). Overall, however, the UK still has the most representatives in THE’s list, with 18 in the top 100 institutions. This is down from 20 last year, although one of 2012’s entrants – Keele University – is now too old to be included in the ranking. Other strong national systems include Australia (13 institutions), the US (eight), France (seven), Spain (six) and Taiwan (five). But South Korea’s first and third place spots make it the “star” of this year’s list, said Phil Baty, editor of Times Higher Education Rankings.
“South Korea’s experience shows that it is possible for nations with sufficient political will to build in a relatively short time world-class universities that can compete with the traditional elites in the US and the UK,” he said.
A league of nations
Overall, 28 countries make the list, eight of them in the top 10. Several French institutions established after the University of Paris was broken up in the wake of 1968’s social unrest feature in the top 100, including Pierre et Marie Curie (ninth), Paris-Sud (10th) and Paris Diderot-Paris 7 (17th). Read more...