China tops U.S. for first time in this ranking of world’s ‘best’ universities

China has overtaken the US in a major ranking of the world’s best universities.

Among 2,000 schools from more than 90 countries ranked by US News & World Report, 338 Chinese universities made the list, compared to 280 American universities. This is the first time China has surpassed the US

The results were reported in the media outlet’s “Top Global Universities Ranking” published on Tuesday. The US and China are followed by Japan (105 universities), the UK (92) and India (81).

The media began its ranking in 2014 as more universities began to compete for students as well as faculty and research investment. The ranking is based on a range of parameters including research reputation, publications, conferences and citations. Student results and individual programs are not included.

Although China edged out the US by 58 places, most US universities appeared in the top half of the rankings, including 8 of the top 10, the report noted.

Here is the overall top 10 list:

  1. Harvard University (USA)

  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA)

  3. Stanford University (USA)

  4. University of California – Berkeley (USA)

  5. University of Oxford (UK)

  6. University of Washington – Seattle (USA)

  7. Columbia University (USA)

  8. University of Cambridge (UK)

  9. California Institute of Technology (USA)

  10. Johns Hopkins University (USA)

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The report adds four new topics to its 43 rankings: artificial intelligence; education and educational research; meteorology and atmospheric sciences; and water resources. “They’re hot areas right now and there’s a lot of interest at various levels,” Robert Morse, chief data strategist at US News, told MarketWatch in an email.

Among the top 10 AI schools, five schools are from mainland China; America’s Carnegie Mellon also ranked high.

While public health concerns and travel restrictions related to the pandemic have partly led to the dramatic drop in numbers over the past two years, rising tensions between the two countries have also led Chinese students to gradually seek alternatives, both in China and outside the US settings.

International student enrollment at U.S. colleges and universities peaked in the 2015-2016 academic year and has been declining since then, the Institute of International Education said, citing visa concerns, competition from other countries with better access to work visas and stronger social and political ties between China and other nations.

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Here are the top 10 universities in Asia:

  1. Tsinghua University (China)

  2. National University of Singapore (Singapore)

  3. Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)

  4. Peking University (China)

  5. Chinese University of Hong Kong (China)

  6. University of Hong Kong (China)

  7. King Abdulaziz University (Saudi Arabia)

  8. University of Tokyo (Japan)

  9. Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China)

  10. Zhejiang University (China)

Artificial intelligence is among the few areas that the US and China consider to be strategic national priorities. The Biden administration signed the National AI Initiative Act of 2020 into law in 2021, aimed at advancing US leadership in the field.

“The world’s leading powers are racing to develop and implement new technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing that could shape everything in our lives – where we get our energy NG00,
about how we do our jobs, about how wars are fought,” Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken.

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“We want America to maintain our scientific and technological edge because it is critical to our prosperity in the 21st century economy,” Blinken said in a speech at a technology summit last year.

Among the top 10 AI schools, five schools are from mainland China, including Tsinghua University, which ranked first. Carnegie Mellon University is the top US college for AI research, ranked number 12 on the list. China also leads in other scientific subjects, including nanoscience, nanotechnology, polymer science, engineering and physical chemistry.

Fewer Chinese students have attended college in the US since the coronavirus pandemic. From January to September 2022, 52,034 Chinese nationals received F-1 visas, down from 95,518 in the same period in 2019, according to data from the US State Department. The F-1 visa is used by international students to pursue a degree or academic certificate in the United States


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