Tsinghua University becomes the highest-ranking university in Asia, according to the fresh Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2019 published on Wednesday.
THE world university ranking list, including more than 1,250 universities this year, is led by the University of Oxford for the second year in a row. The second best is the University of Cambridge and Stanford University in the United States ranks the third.
Tsinghua University, rising 8 places to 22nd, has overtaken the National University of Singapore (NUS), ranking 23rd, to become the best university in Asia.
The rise means that Tsinghua now also outranks its peer Peking University, ranking 31st this year, for the first time in the global table, although Tsinghua has consistently had greater prominence in the THE World Reputation Rankings, the THE ranking publishers said.
Editors of THE said that over the past year Tsinghua has improved its citation impact, increased its institutional income and grown its international outlook, with greater shares of international staff, students and co-authored publications.
Simon Marginson, professor of higher education at the University of Oxford and director of the Centre for Global Higher Education, said that he was not surprised by Tsinghua's advance.
"It's easily the number one university in the world for high citation research in mathematics and computing -- a combined field in which China has now moved well ahead of the U.S. and, further back, Europe. It is near the top of the world, and rising fast in physical sciences and engineering," he said.
Tsinghua is not the only Chinese riser in the table. Zhejiang University has climbed an impressive 76 places to 101st this year, thanks to improvements in its scores for all five metrics underpinning the teaching pillar, as well as research income, research volume, industry income and proportion of international students.
Meanwhile, the Shenzhen-based Southern University of Science and Technology has joined the ranking for the first time in the 301-350 band.
THE said Chinese universities' rise is largely driven by improvements in citation impact.
U.S. universities continue to take the most places in the rankings.
THE World University Rankings is a well-trusted global university performance table to judge research-intensive universities across all of their core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. It uses 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators to provide comprehensive and balanced comparisons.