The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mumbai has achieved its highest-ever ranking, entering the top 150 universities worldwide in the latest QS World University Ranking. This achievement is significant as it is the first time in eight years that an Indian higher education institution has made it into the top 150, with the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore being the last to do so in 2016, ranked at 147.
In this year’s rankings, IIT Bombay has made an impressive leap, climbing 23 positions to secure the 149th rank globally. However, there have been notable fluctuations in the list, including a drop of 70 positions for IISc, which now stands as the third-highest ranked Indian institution. Similarly, IIT Delhi, IIT Kanpur, and IIT Madras have also experienced declines in their rankings.
The UK-based ranking agency, QS Quacquarelli Symonds, has attributed these fluctuations partly to a revision of the assessment parameters. Three new indicators were introduced, namely sustainability, employment outcomes, and international research network, each accounting for 5% of the ranking criteria. To accommodate these new indicators, QS made adjustments to the importance given to other parameters. The weightage of academic reputation was reduced from 40% to 30%, faculty-student ratio decreased from 15% to 10%, and employer reputation increased from 10% to 15%.
The reduced emphasis on faculty-student ratio has adversely affected institutions like IISc, which has a research-focused approach with a lower teaching load compared to the IITs. IISc’s ranking has been impacted due to the decreased weightage, although QS clarifies that other factors also contributed to the fall in rankings, such as drops in indicators related to global engagement, citations per faculty, and employer reputation.
IIT Bombay, on the other hand, has demonstrated excellence in employment reputation and citation per faculty. Notably, there has been a remarkable improvement in citation per faculty, with a rise from 55.1 to 73.1. Over the past five years, IIT Bombay has enhanced its employer reputation ranking and citations per faculty rank. The institute’s research productivity received a boost during the pandemic lockdown, resulting in numerous research papers published in high-impact journals, which contributed to the improved ranking.
Subhasis Chaudhuri, Director of IIT Bombay, highlights the institute’s impressive research output, with a substantial number of academic papers and citations. The research quality is evident, with 30% of the output published in the top 10% of academic journals by impact, surpassing the global average and outperforming Indian institutions. However, the institute still needs to show progress in internationalization metrics.
Chaudhari also emphasizes the institute’s success in the employment reputation parameter, surpassing the scores of international universities. This achievement reflects IIT Bombay’s mission to produce highly skilled professionals who are now leading in global companies.
India has demonstrated a strong presence in the global university rankings this year, with 45 universities being ranked. This places India as the seventh most represented country worldwide and the third in Asia, trailing only Japan with 52 universities and China (Mainland) with 71 universities. Additionally, two Indian universities, the University of Delhi (ranked 407th) and Anna University (ranked 427th), have made their debut in the top 500 universities globally. Furthermore, four new Indian universities, namely the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES), Chitkara University, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, and the Indian Statistical Institute, have secured rankings this year.
In terms of the overall rankings, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US has claimed the top spot for the twelfth consecutive year, followed closely by the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford from the UK. Notably, the National University of Singapore (NUS) has made significant progress, moving up three positions from last year’s 11th rank to become the first Asian university to break into the top 10.
Australia has also witnessed notable advancements in its universities, with three institutions entering the top 20. The University of Melbourne, achieving a ranking of 14th (a first for any Australian institution), has advanced by 19 positions. Additionally, the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney have both improved their rankings, moving up by 26 and 22 places, respectively, and now sharing the 19th position.