King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi (KMUTT) is now ranked among Asia's 50 best universities, according to the Times Higher Education rankings.
KMUTT climbed five places to secure 50th spot on the Asia University Rankings 2014, which was released by Times Higher Education last Thursday.
It is first time a Thai institute has made it into the top 50 in Asia.
The second best-ranked Thai university is Mahidol University (MU), which plummeted 21 places to 82 this year.
Chulalongkorn University (CU), meanwhile, has slipped out of the top 100 rankings. Last year, it placed 82nd.
“There were mixed fortunes for Thailand this year,” Phil Baty, co-ordinator of the Times Higher Education rankings, said.
He said the latest rankings might serve to nudge Thailand into understanding that it needs to work harder to compete in the global market place for education.
According to him, MU’s scores are broadly similar to last year, with no significant change. In the 2013 rankings, MU’s overall score stood at 28.7. This year, its score dropped only slightly to 26.7.
Baty told The Nation that CU now sits just outside of the Asia top 100.
He disclosed that KMUTT had improved its score for citations since 2013, meaning that its academic papers are being used more frequently outside Thailand. In time, this is likely to have a positive impact on KMUTT’s score for reputation, with the academic community being more aware of the university and its work.
The total score for KMUTT this year stood at 33.0, up from 30.3 last year.
“To have a university in the top 50 in this highly competitive global market place is extremely impressive,” Baty said.
According to him, high performing countries and regions are pumping money into their higher education systems, forging alliances with their global neighbours and encouraging internationalisation. All of these things are crucial factors in achieving a high ranking.
On top of the Asia University Rankings 2014 this year is Japan’s University of Tokyo. Coming next in the second and third spots respectively are Singapore’s National University of Singapore and Hong Kong’s University of Hong Kong. The full list is available on www.thewur.com.
Where are the top 100 universities in Asia?
South Korea 14
Hong Kong 6
Saudi Arabia 3
Source: Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2014