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​NTU ranks 11th in world rankings, highest position ever by a Singapore or Asian university​

Published on: 08-Jun-2017

The meteoric rise of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) in the last five years continues as NTU climbs to 11th place in the latest Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) global league table of top universities released today. 

This makes NTU the highest ranked university in Singapore as well as in Asia.
The 11th position is NTU’s best performance ever, after it leapt 26 places to 13th place in the world in 2015 and maintained that position last year.

NTU President, Professor Bertil Anderson said, “This is fantastic news and a strong recognition of our progress. Having made it into the global Top 15 three years ago, we know competition is extremely stiff in the upper echelon of the world’s best universities and we cannot expect to continue to make big leaps. 

“To climb up to the 11th spot, just one place shy of the Top 10, is remarkable progress. Even though NTU is now the highest ranked Singapore university, I maintain what I have always said – Singaporeans should be very proud that a small nation like Singapore has two world-class universities."

NTU has rapidly shot up the QS world rankings, vaulting 63 places since 2010. This year, NTU’s international faculty continued to rank 19th worldwide, while its academic reputation improved by 3 positions at 50th, and citations per faculty by 7 places at 57th. NTU made its biggest improvement in employer reputation, scaling 10 places to rank 38th internationally. 

Ben Sowter, Research Director, QS Quacquarelli Symonds, said: “The fact that an institution of NTU’s youth and profile finds itself on the brink of the world’s top 10 is a remarkable achievement and a testament to a concentrated, selective funding model, strong and consistent leadership, sticking with an ambitious tactical plan and a radical approach to international partnerships and collaboration.”


Young and ambitious
NTU has become one of the most watched young universities in the world. In the last three years, NTU has topped the QS Top 50 under 50 rankings – a league table of the world’s best young universities below 50 years old.

“This No. 11 spot is the highest position a young university has attained in the world university rankings. I hope NTU’s success, which is built on hard work, determination and a mindset of change, will be an inspiration to other young universities in the world,” said Prof Andersson, who was appointed NTU President in 2011. 

He added that Singapore is a country that firmly believes in the importance of education and research, and investing in it. NTU has transformed rapidly in the last 10 years from a teaching university into a research-intensive one. Corporatised in 2006, the autonomous university had the flexibility to chart its own strategic directions.

On the secrets of NTU’s meteoric rise, Prof Andersson said: “There are three success factors and they are people, people, people. NTU has attracted the best talents – top faculty, promising, upcoming investigators and the brightest students.” 

Today, NTU leads Asia’s top universities in normalised citation impact in research according to data by Clarivate Analytics’ InCites and is also ranked 4th worldwide in engineering and technology by QS. 

Boasting one of the world‘s largest engineering colleges, NTU has built up a strong reputation for innovation in its short 26-year history, and strong industry ties. In the last five years, NTU has established joint labs on its sprawling 200-hectare campus with leading international players such as Rolls Royce, BMW, Johnson Matthey, Lockheed Martin and Singapore’s ST Engineering.

One of the world’s most beautiful campuses
Besides NTU’s rapid growth and global research breakthroughs, the university’s campus has also attracted much attention internationally. Frequently named among the world’s most beautiful campuses, its buildings not only have beautiful forms but also function well in environmental sustainability.

For example, the Hive at NTU an iconic project by British designer Thomas Heatherwick is designed with innovative energy-saving features. The centrepiece of the flipped classroom model of learning that NTU is driving, The Hive has redefined traditional classrooms.

The Wave, a newly opened sports complex on campus with its eye-catching roof, is built using mass engineered timber with the wood harvested from sustainably managed forests. The three-storey building can support a continuous 72-metre wave-like roof without the need for internal columns, enabling it to host three full-sized basketball courts or 13 badminton courts.

The two buildings contributed to NTU’s record haul of 51 Green Mark Platinum awards – Singapore’s highest certification for sustainable buildings – from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA). This has propelled the university to become the first recipient of the Green Mark Platinum Star Champion award, the highest accolade in Singapore for outstanding commitment for sustainable design. 

“As a university, we have been in hyper drive – ramping up research, designing innovative academic and research programmes, building new facilities and more. All these have been achieved in a short time because of the firm commitment of the faculty, staff, students and the Board of Trustees, and the strong support of the alumni and our donors,” said Prof Andersson.

More than 950 universities from over 80 countries are ranked in this year's QS World University Rankings. Based on six performance indicators, universities are assessed in four areas: research, teaching, employability and internationalisation.

For more information on the QS World University Rankings, visit:



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