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Two NEW QS university rankings point to Asia’s young rising stars

Full results on www.topuniversities.com

The increasing influence of Asia’s young institutions is revealed today in the QS University Rankings: Asia and the new QS Top 50 under 50, a global ranking of universities established since 1962. 

Aged just 21 years, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) tops the 2012 QS University Rankings: Asia league table for the second year, while a record four universities in the top ten are less than 50 years old.  

In a separate companion table, QS Top 50 under 50, Chinese University of Hong Kong (49 years), is named the top young university in the world, followed HKUST in 2nd place. No young Thai institutions entered the list.  

As young, rising stars are identified; the first signs of erosion in the performance of some long-established institutions also emerge.

A year after China overtook Japan as the world’s second largest economy, nine of the top ten Mainland Chinese universities improved on their 2011 position with Peking University overtaking University of Tokyo for the first time. In contrast, the top ten Japanese universities all moved backwards.



The two new QS university ranking tables point to the emergence of young Asian institutions as the ages of the top ten in the QS University Rankings: Asia dropped to a record low of just 77.5 years; four of the top ten was established less than 50 years ago.

These young Asian institutions are also making waves in the global rankings arena as four of the top five of the QS Top 50 under 50 hailed from the region.

“As the West tightens its belt following the recession, Asian governments are investing heavily, particularly in scientific research”, says QS head of research Ben Sowter. “The emergence of Asia’s young, science-focused institutions has been one of the key trends in our regional and world university rankings in recent years.”

Sowter adds, “The fact that three of the world’s top ten young universities are from Hong Kong is a remarkable statistic that highlights the rapid speed at which its young institutions are developing.”

The full top 300 list of QS University Rankings: Asia and the QS Top 50 under 50 can be found on www.topuniversities.com.




Media contacts:

Simona Bizzozero, [email protected], +44 (0)7763883801
Vickie Chiu, [email protected], +44 (0) 207 284 7292
Moynaa Aparajit, [email protected], +44(0) 207 284 7235

Notes for editors

Inclusion  criteria for the QS Top 50 under 50

This table ranks the universities that have been established since 1962 according to their position in the 2011 QS World University Rankings.

The following guidelines have been employed to decide on eligibility:

In the case of universities that have been formed through mergers of pre-existing institutions, we have taken the foundation date of the institution that represents the principal component of the merger, where such a party has been clearly identifiable.

Where a clear principal component cannot be identified, the establishment date of the youngest institution in the merger prevails.

Where a new university has been created as a result of a split or a demerger, the establishment date of the resultant new university has been considered valid, providing that its predecessor closed prior to the opening of the new institution - as, for example, in the cases of Tsukuba University and Nanyang Technological University.

In instances of universities that were formerly branches or affiliated colleges of other universities, we have taken the date when the newly formed institution was granted the ability to award degrees in its own name. Institutions that had degree-awarding status 50 years ago as constituent members of a university from which they have subsequently separated, have not been included.

Institutions created within the past 50 years as the result of a separation from a full degree-awarding institution have not been included.

In instances where ambiguity has been identified, eligibility has been decided by QS Intelligence Unit on a case-by-case basis following careful consideration and in accordance with the guidelines outlined above.


QS University Rankings: Asia

Published for the first time in 2009, the QS University Rankings: Asia  is published annually and ranks Asia’s top 300 universities based on relevant criteria including:




Academic reputation


Employer reputation


Student/faculty Ratio


Papers per faculty


Citations per paper




Student exchange inbound


Student exchange outbound


QS World University Rankings®

The QS World University Rankings ® is an annual league table of the top 700 universities in the world and is arguably the best-known and respected ranking of its kind. Compiled by the QS Intelligence Unit in close consultation with an international advisory board of leading academics, the QS World University Rankings ® is widely referenced by prospective and current students, university professionals and governments worldwide. The purpose of the rankings has been to recognize universities as the multi-faceted organizations they are and to provide a global comparison of their success against the notional mission of remaining or becoming world-class. The rankings are based on four key pillars, research, teaching, employability and internationalization.

Ben Sowter

Ben Sowter is the Head of Research at QS, QS Intelligence Unit. He holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Nottingham, where he was also awarded the Union Prize for outstanding contribution to the student union and served as chairman of the Nottingham University Debating Society. Ben is fully responsible for the operational management of all major QS research projects and is actively involved in all the collection, compilation and tabulation of all the data that lead to, amongst others the World University Rankings® research in which he has been involved since its initial inception in 2004. A frequent contributor to the press, Ben’s opinion on global education trends and his expertise is used regularly by major global publications.


For further information: Simona Bizzozero, [email protected], +44 (0)7763883801 Vickie Chiu, [email protected], +44 (0) 207 284 7292 Moynaa Aparajit, [email protected], +44(0) 207 284 7235

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