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

China has surpassed the United States in an important ranking of the world’s best universities.

Among the 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. It is the first time that China has outnumbered the United States

Results were reported in the media’s “Best Global Universities Rankings” published on Tuesday. The United States and China were followed by Japan (105 universities), Great Britain (92), and India (81).

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

Although China surpassed the United States by 58 places, the majority of American universities appear 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 added four new topics to its 43 rankings: artificial intelligence; education and educational research; meteorology and atmospheric sciences; and water resources. “They’re hot fields right now and there’s a lot of interest at different levels,” Robert Morse, chief data strategist at US News, told MarketWatch in an email.

Among the top 10 schools for AI, five schools were from mainland China; Carnegie Mellon of the United States also ranked high.

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

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 fields that both the United States and China regard as strategic national priorities. The Biden administration signed the National AI Initiative Act of 2020 into law in 2021, aiming to advance American leadership in the field.

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

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“We want the United States to maintain our scientific and technological potential because it is critical for us to thrive in the 21st century economy,” Blinken said in a speech at a technology summit last year.

Among the top 10 schools for AI, five schools were from mainland China, including Tsinghua University, which ranked number 1. Carnegie Mellon University is the top US college for AI research, ranking number 12 on the list. China also leads in other scientific fields, including nanoscience, nanotechnology, polymer science, engineering and physical chemistry.

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


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