The National University of Singapore (NUS) is now among the top 10 higher education institutions in the world.
NUS placed eighth in the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, which was released on Wednesday (Jun 28).
It is the first Asian institution to break into the top 10. In the previous edition, it occupied the 11th spot.
QS senior vice president Ben Sowter said an additional metric that considers a combination of employment rate and the achievements of alumni gave NUS an edge in this year’s ranking.
“Singaporean universities are doing a fantastic job of preparing their students for work,” he told CNA’s Singapore Tonight on Wednesday. “Employers have been recognising that for some time.”
This year’s ranking introduced three new metrics, which are commitment to sustainability, international research networks, and employment after graduation.
NUS ranked seventh globally in producing graduates sought after by employers.
“We began back in 2004 when the world of data, particularly in higher education, was a wildly different place,” said Mr Sowter, adding that the Britain-based global higher education analyst QS has been consistently looking for new opportunities to broaden its metrics used.
“As we run forward into the future, there are emerging priorities that stakeholders around the world have been talking to us about. In particular, prospective students who increasingly are focused on their employment opportunities when they come out of university. And the sustainability credentials of the brands they associate themselves with,” he said.
He added that getting a degree from a particular university “is a brand that stays with you for life”.
“So universities have no choice but to respond to sustainability challenges, and they need to do that together,” he explained.
“So that collaboration metric, looking at how universities are working together around the world, is critically important in solving some of those big problems that the world faces.”
MIT CONTINUES TO TOP RANKING
The top 10 spots in the QS ranking, now in its 20th edition, are typically dominated by universities from the United States and Britain.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) topped the list for the 12th consecutive year.
The University of Cambridge retained its second spot, while the University of Oxford climbed up one place to third.
Other institutions that made the top 10 list include Harvard University, Stanford University, Imperial College London, ETH Zurich, University College London and the University of California, Berkeley.