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Japanese universities climb rankings in Times global survey

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My ex university is 75th in this ranking.

Top 50 in the Shanghai ranking.

Used to be better before gapping with other uni, when it was only a science university, as those rankings do depend highly on science publications

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I can see that China, Honk Kong and Singapore are holding the majority of positions in the ranking.

Japan doesn't attract much attention.

-7 ( +10 / -17 )

Japanese universities tended to rate poorly on indicators relating to international outlook

Well, well, well. Who'd a thunk it.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

These rankings have always been bonkers. The criteria they use is deeply flawed and misleading.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Several Japanese universities shot up in the latest annual ranking published by British magazine Times Higher Education, with the University of Tokyo rising to 29th, the highest position for a Japanese institution since 2015.

Looking at the 2023 rankings, Tokyo is at 39, not 29 which shows University of Edinburgh in 29th place. Admins you might want to correct your information.

https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2023/world-ranking?page=1

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Peter14, the text is correct, 39 for the 2023 ranking, 29 for the 2024 ranking

9 ( +9 / -0 )

My bad. Being in 2023 I naturally searched for this years listing. It didnt dawn that it was for 2024 which is still months away. I have trouble understanding how they can make next years rankings in advance. Is it a guess? What are the listings for 2025 and where can I see them? *sarcasm.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The magazine said the notable rise in the rankings of Japanese institutions was due to a newly added metric on patents.

This metric is expected to become even more important in the near future because of money being invested in this kind of university-industry support (quite late, but better than never), like SCARDA and UTOPIA.

Then again having patents do not mean they will be useful or profitable, that will depend on the quality of the research being done to produce them.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Yes - a lot of ifs and buts re these rankings - altho The Times list has built a certain level of cred over the years.

Interesting points for Japan are :

still only 2 universities in the top 100 and only 5 in the top 200.

Some other Asian countries China 6 & 13 respectively ; South Korea 3 & 6 ; Singapore top 50 is 2 ....

Some other countries - OECD - Australia 6 & 5 ; France 4 & 1 ; Germany 8 & 12 ; Canada 3 & 5 .........

One another very notable distinction is the Male / Female student ratio in Japanese Universities. The closest to any sort of balance is Tokyo with 68% M & 32% F. Almost all of the major universities excl China, have ratios ranging from 60% M ~ 40% F to 50% ~ 50% to even in the +ive for F.

This, together with Japan's generally low rankings as the 3rd highest economy in the world, indicates some serious misgivings with the workings of the institutions.

The lack of women may be symptomatic of other inherent problems.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

One another very notable distinction is the Male / Female student ratio in Japanese Universities. The closest to any sort of balance is Tokyo with 68% M & 32% F. 

Any yet Japan has dozens of universities with tens of thousands of students who are 100% female. The existence of so many women's universities inevitably skews the sex ratio at co-ed universities to some extent. This is an example of a country-specific issue that the Times survey does not properly take into account.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

However, Japanese universities tended to rate poorly on indicators relating to international outlook and overall research output, with the magazine noting that Japan "faces some real challenges to its international competitiveness 

Slamming the border shut to students with valid visas during the pandemic didn't help much did it.

This article smells like an attempt to whitewash that incident. No wonder students look elsewhere.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

"faces some real challenges to its international competitiveness."

Language alone is a big challenge.

One needs to study and be good in Japanese before actual schooling.

All the other universities probably use English

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Japanese universities rankings are a bit alarming.

Mmm, so if you go under the knife (medical surgery) or end up in court (defense lawyer) etc…..

Just how good or bad will your experience be compared to the more high scoring foreign university educated professionals?

Don’t fancy experiencing anything in China.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

M3 - thanks for the comment.

Yes - there are all women universities in Japan which may make a drain on the female - to male balance at co-ed institutions.

How many of these schools are in the top 500 or top 1000 ? Why?

Point being as I indicated, the lack of M - F balance at the higher ranked universities may be reflective of other problems within the tertiary education matrix in Japan.

Because for such an advanced nation with a high population, the university rankings simply don't look so good.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Language alone is a big challenge.

One needs to study and be good in Japanese before actual schooling.

All the other universities probably use English

There are plenty of programs in Japan that are in English.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@browny1

How many of these schools are in the top 500 or top 1000 ? Why?

Some women's universities are very highly regarded in Japan, like Ochanomizu and Nara Women's University. They perform very poorly in the Times survey (but so do Keio and Wasada, two of Japan's best universities!)

Because for such an advanced nation with a high population, the university rankings simply don't look so good.

As I've said, in my opinion, the criteria used in these surveys is fundamentally flawed. Especially when ranking universities in non-English speaking countries. These surveys say nothing about the quality of education students receive. At most they tell you how well-funded these institutions are.

For example, look at 2 of the criteria used in the survey; First, the ratio of students per academic and second, the ratio of published papers per academic (and they only survey English journals btw).

If University A has the money to hire 10 new academics to just sit in their offices churning out papers, and University B hires 5 new academics to teach and tutor students, which will score higher in the Times survey? But which will likely provide a better education for students?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Maxspeed

Today 10:38 pm JST

Language alone is a big challenge.

> One needs to study and be good in Japanese before actual schooling.

> All the other universities probably use English

> There are plenty of programs in Japan that are in English.

Ah so no need to learn Japanese to study in Japan if you're taking a program in English.

Good to know

0 ( +1 / -1 )

M3M3M3

Today 05:36 pm JST

These rankings have always been bonkers. The criteria they use is deeply flawed and misleading.

I've no idea re criteria or survey methodology.

But surely the universities included in the rankings knew about the criteria they'll be evaluated withand actually furnish the info for eval?

If they want to climb up in the rankings theyll embrace those criteria and adjust accordingly.

Otherwise they wouldn't have participated.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Also,

Again I have no idea of the criteria but to come up with the criteria they must have put a lot of thought and effort in it, probably a preliminary survey of the schools to determine which criteria are the most valued by most. Surely there must be a lot of studies already regarding the characteristics of good educational institutions? They must have based the survey and survey criteria on something.

And these set of criteria are not static, the survey is also evolving.

Mentioned in the article is the inclusion of a new criterion for example that caused the jump for Japanese schools in the rankings.

Anyway not saying anyone is wrong because I can't, I dont even know the criteria, it's just that the words deeply flawed and misleading seems to be a little too strong for me

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's a curiosity of the Japanese system that the entrance exam to get into university is in effect more important than the academic work you do once you're there. Once there, many students do no sort of proper thesis/dissertation — the end result is just a 'Pass' rather than a score that means something. Simply changing the system so that the final year means something could have a big effect.

Added to that, the inability to attract Western or even central Asian students. Since the 1960s it's been another one of those things that seems just like an "Oh well", but moving on into the 2030s this will do real damage to the economy (or, at least, it'll be another missed lifeboat).

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Nothing to brag about, that's for sure.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If University A has the money to hire 10 new academics to just sit in their offices churning out papers, and University B hires 5 new academics to teach and tutor students, which will score higher in the Times survey? But which will likely provide a better education for students?

You forgot something in the criteria here. This is Japan. University A has the money, but wont hire any new academics and will pay more money to their current one's, who just sit on their butts doing nothing. Also University B will use the money, not for educational purposes, but for some "upgrade" to some facility that's been falling apart for decades.

So in the long run, no new teachers, and the status quo remains in place, make the entrance exams harder, for appearances of being a "great university" because it's impossible to get into, and then let the students play for 4 years until they need to find work!

And people wonder why the rankings are so low?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

M3 - Thanks again for your response.

You did notice that I first posted with the comment about the iffi-ness of these rankings. So I don't hold them up to be the be all and end all - obviously. You won't find a rah-rah blind supporter of ivy league in me.

My point was simply a striking anomaly that while most of the leading universities had a pretty even balance of M ~ F ratio, this was not the case in the leading Japanese universities - in fact disproportionately very strange.

I suggested this could be reflective of some internal metrics stifling progression. Maybe there is no link - but it has worth as an indicator to be considered. One only has to look at the recent debacle of weeding out eligible girls from gaining entry to the medical school in Tokyo, based on the theory that they will "get married anyway". How widespread such thoughts are, whether vocalized or not, is but another consideration.

And my university in regional Japan I believe gives it's students a pretty good education - depending on faculty and teachers of course. It's not famous and appears very very low in the rankings. It's a happy place with a good mix of students from a variety of backgrounds and prefectures and has a good M~F balance. It will never win any international accolades, but reflects well imo on the general society.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

My girlfriend was at Oxford until a few yrs ago but she did not like it. She said it was too class orientated and snobby. She would have chosen Edinburgh or Cambridge but Oxford is only a few miles from where we live and a 20 minute bus ride away. As for the list itself, do not read much into it, Most of the top ones are very elitist and their degree's can be dubious......ie Bought.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

William-B ..... Thanks.

My limited personal experience has been across the spectrum of students.

From lazy, couldn't care less to triers to amazingly dedicated - with the latter category being less than the middle for sure.

But by appearances most students study and get by with passing grades or above. And standards and expectations have certainly changed over my 2 decades there.

The students of now are in general (loose term) way above the pack of 15 years ago.

The university offers a pretty good environment encompassing academic, extra curricula, tech, services and nice place to be. Could be better, could be much worse.

I do agree that many of the middle students would have it cut out if they had to face the rigors / standards of a good os university.

But many graduate as fairly good in their chosen fields - well in the fields I'm closer to.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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