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Many readers will have had more contact with Southeast Asian Universities than myself, so I will largely let the figures and someone else do the talking in this post.

Here’s how the Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2016 eventuated for the top universities in Southeast Asia (in their Asia region subset).

1 – National University of Singapore (NUS)
2 – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU)
70 – Universiti Teknologi Malaysia – Malaysia
90 – Mahidol University – Thailand
98 – King Mongkut’s University of Technology, Thonburi, Thailand
121-130 – Universiti Putra Malaysia
141-150 – Chiang Mai University, Thailand
141-150 – Universiti Sains Malaysia (University of Science, Malaysia)
151-160 – Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
161-170 – Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia)
161-170 – Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand
181-190 – University of Indonesia
181-190 – Khon Kaen University, Thailand
181-190 – Prince of Songkla University, Thailand

In contrast, the QS Asia university rankings for 2016 emerged with their hierarchy appearing as below.

1 National University of Singapore (NUS)
3 Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU)
27 Universiti Malaya, Malaysia
45 Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
49 Universiti Putra Malaysia
51 Universiti Sains Malaysia (University of Science, Malaysia)
55 Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia)
61 Mahidol University – Thailand
63 Universiti Teknologi Malaysia – Malaysia
67 Universitas Indonesia
70 University of the Philippines
86 Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Indonesia
99 Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines

Unfortunately I couldn’t find a regional list for the Shanghai rankings, but the Southeast Asian institutions in their top 500 globally appear as..

83 National University of Singapore (NUS)
101-150 Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU)
401-500 Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia)
401-501 Universiti Sains Malaysia (University of Science, Malaysia)
401-502 Universiti Malaya, Malaysia

218775dd0cdaa62732f83ed6d884e5a4f1119a36(Front of Mae Fah Luang University, Chiang Rai, northern Thailand)

Clearly there are different measures in use which, in turn, often produce very different rankings. This is evident in the competing rankings for Indonesia’s universities available here and here.

But how well do these Southeast Asian universities really do? Is anyone sensitive to the gap (or perhaps chasm) between those at the top of the list and those further down? You can draw your own conclusion from the below quote.

“We categorise CU [Chulalongkorn University, Thailand] as world-class in the ‘national’ university division, not world-class in an ‘international’ university division…”

– Chulalongkorn University’s Vice President (Academic Affairs) MR Kalaya Tingsabadh, quoted in Chularat Saengpassa, “Worldclass standards and boosting”, The Nation, 21 February 2011.

Now you know.

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