10 top universities in Asia ranked
10 top universities in Asia, as published by the US News & World Report, in its annual world’s university ranking for year 2008/2009:
1. University of Tokyo, Japan
Having a rather large number of students, which are in excess of 30,000 at one time does not prevent the University of Tokyo to achieve and maintain its status as one of Asia’s best universities for years.
The university prides itself with a long history of traditions stretching back since more than a century ago. The Meiji government was responsible to build its first campus and changes of governments did not stop the institution from growing further and further, until it reaches the current status.
2. Kyoto University, Japan
Kyoto University is another elite institution which used to belong to the Imperial Universities of Japan, or the National Seven Universities – which refers to a group of universities run by the Japanese imperial government until the end of the World War II. In 2007, the Times Higher Education ranked Kyoto University as the third best university in Asia behind the University of Tokyo and the University of Hong Kong.
3. University of Hong Kong
The eldest tertiary institution in Hong Kong (and arguably in the whole of China – still in debate) was first established by the London Missionary Society back in the 19th century when a medical college by the name of Hong Kong College and Medicine for Chinese was built. The then governor of Hong Kong, Sir Frederick Lugard went a step further to propose the establishment of a proper university to compete with neighbouring countries and nations, and the University of Hong Kong was officially hailed.
4. National University of Singapore (NUS)
Singapore is always known as the land where the ‘smart ones’ are produced every year and the National University of Singapore is responsible to churn out probably half of them. The school started as a tertiary medical school and later expanded to include other broad range of courses, subjects and curriculums.
NUS notable alumni include Lee Kuan Yew (former Prime Minister of Singapore), Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed (former Prime Minister of Malaysia), Benjamin Sheares (former President, Singapore), Chew Choon Seng (CEO, Singapore Airlines), Ho Ching (CEO, Temasek Holding) and Tun Abdul Razak (former Prime Minister of Malaysia).
5. Hong Kong University of Science, Technology and Medicine
With its founding in 1991, the Hong Kong University of Science, Technology and Medicine is considered a relatively new and belongs to the modern tertiary education world. Apart from the US News & World Report, other prominent publications such as Financial Times, Times Higher Education and Economist Intelligent Unit regularly ranked the university on their top list. The university is home to some 9,000 students, and is powered by over 400 experienced, teaching personnel.
6. The Chinese University of Hong Kong
The third best university in Hong Kong is made up of a number of colleges, with more colleges in the process of being institutionalized. Each college has their own small community with all access to facilities and core needs provided to every one. The Chinese University of Hong Kong provides a wide range of courses which are not only taught in Chinese languages but also in English as it is pushing for global competitiveness.
7. Osaka University, Japan
Also once belonged to the Imperial Universities, the Osaka University is a well known tertiary school in Asia, especially when it comes to science, technology and medical fields. The current university is a result of a number of mergers with other institutions established newer than the institution. The school started with undergraduate studies offering science and medical subjects and later grew to include postgraduate and research studies.
8. Peking University, China
Born in Beijing, China, the Peking University is not only famous for its high education standard, but is also popular with its breathtaking landscapes and architectural wonders. The institution also pays significant emphasis on research and postgraduate courses, with the number of postgraduate specialties outweighs that of the undergraduate courses. In 2006, the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) ranked the Peking University among the world’s 15 best universities.
9. Seoul National University, Korea
The Seoul National University is another specialist in research programs and is highly regarded as the country’s key player in making breakthrough discoveries and technology developments. To maintain its standard and reputation, the university imposes somewhat strict and disciplined selection criteria and only recruits the best students around. Kim Young-sam (former President, South Korea) and Ban Ki-moon (current Secretary General of the United Nations) were 2 graduates of Seoul National University.
10. Tsinghua University
Located in Beijing, the Tsinghua University started as Tsinghua College back in early 20th century as a preparatory institution for students pursuing their studies in the United States. History has it that Tsinghua and Peking (ranked 8th) universities merged into 1 single school during the World War II, but the two later decided to split and remain independent entities until today.