A record 75 Indian institutes featured in Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2023, an increase from 71 last year, though none of them have broken into the top-250 league yet.
The Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, is the country’s highest-ranked institution, placed between 251-300 ranks, moving up one group band after being in the 301-350 band for three consecutive years. Even with seven of the first-generation Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) continuing to boycott the rankings, India is the sixth most-represented country in the 2023 list. In the 2017 edition of THE ranking, only 31 Indian universities were ranked.
India has five universities in the world’s top 500 and nine institutions in the top 600 – up from six in 2022. They include JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Shoolini University of Biotechnology and Management Sciences, Alagappa University, Mahatma Gandhi University, IIT Ropar, IIIT Hyderabad, Jamia Milia Islamia, and Saveetha University, apart from IISc.
In 2020, IITs of Delhi, Bombay, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkee had issued a joint statement saying they had decided not to participate in THE World University Rankings, citing concerns over transparency.
In response to an email query from ET, a Times Higher Education official said its “rankings are all based on the freedom of universities to participate or not”. “Some IITs have chosen not to participate (although eight are in the rankings, as is the Indian Institute of Science),” the person said. “We had met with the IITs and other institutions on several occasions and continue to welcome discussions with them,” THE said in its email response. “We have given detailed explanation of our ranking methodology, and have listened to their input. In the next edition of the ranking, to be launched next year, we have incorporated some of their suggestions.”
On a query about the rankings’ credibility considering India’s top institutions are boycotting them, THE said the rankings still represent the most thorough exploration of the university research mission that is published in the world. “While participation in the rankings is entirely voluntary, universities across the world have embraced the trusted framework, with an unprecedented 2,500 universities taking part in the exercise this year,” it said.
Phil Baty, chief knowledge officer at Times Higher Education, said India’s policy leaders have fully embraced the vital need for the country to join the global knowledge economy network and to ensure that the nation’s universities compete with, collaborate with, and benchmark themselves against the very best universities in the world.
“This (year’s performance) puts Indian higher education on the map, supporting international collaboration, inward investment and reducing brain-drain. Huge credit is due to the sector and political leaders for this transformation,” Baty said in a statement. Overall, University of Oxford has retained the top spot for the seventh consecutive year, followed by Harvard University and University of Cambridge. A record 1,799 universities from 104 countries and regions are ranked in this edition of the rankings – 137 more than last year.
Source: Economic Times