Students photograph themselves before the the Dalai Lama delivered the commencement speech to their 2017 graduating class at the University of California, San Diego. Photo: Reuters/Mike Blake

British magazine Times Higher Education (THE) released its first Asia-Pacific University Ranking on Tuesday to reflect the region’s growing strength in the higher education sector. Of the 243 universities featured on the list, institutions in China and Singapore dominated four of the top five places.

Australia’s University of Melbourne ranked third.

Japan was the most represented nation, with 69 universities featured on the THE list. China ranked second with 52 universities. Other countries and territories with a strong presence in the ranking are Australia (35 universities), Taiwan (26), South Korea (25) and Thailand (nine).

“The Asia-Pacific region is the most dynamic in the higher-education world. It is already larger than Europe and the UK in terms of student numbers and research spending,” said Simon Marginson, director of the Centre for Global Higher Education at the UCL (University College London) Institute of Education. “And one day it will become as important as the US and Canada.”

The 2017 THE Asia-Pacific University Rankings assess world-class universities in terms of teaching, research, citations, international collaboration and knowledge transfer, using the same performance indicators as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, but with special modifications to reflect better the characteristics of universities in the region.

Universities from 38 nations and territories in East Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania were examined.

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