Switzerland and Singapore have the world's best universities outside the US and UK, say QS World University Rankings

As two Asian institutions surpass Canada on last year, Nanyang Technological University president says 'young Singaporeans can be very proud'

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The Independent Online

The US and Britain have, once again, dominated the annual QS TopUniversities guide for having the best institutions in the world. However, it is also important to look at how others are faring on the world stage.

In accordance to one of the most authoritative university rankings lists, this year’s QS World University Rankings has seen Switzerland and Singapore pave the way for having the best higher education institutions outside America and the UK, knocking Canada out of the top five on last year.

Storming to the top of the list for a second year running is Switzerland’s ETH Zürich, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. A leading player in research and education in the country and worldwide, ETH is consistently ranked the top university in continental Europe.

The ETH’s modest president, Lino Guzzella, insisted how the absolute position in the list is not of paramount importance. He added: “The key thing is that we are consistently ranked within the leading group.”

Singapore has made exceptional progress on last year as two of its universities have been placed second and third, replacing Canada. The National University of Singapore (NUS) – fifth place in 2014/15 – said its consistent performance in international rankings is a reflection of the country’s strong support for higher education.

QS head of research, Ben Sowter, added: “What Singapore, as a nation, has achieved in its first 50 years of independence is nothing short of staggering. The engine room for that development has been and remains the cultural, political and financial emphasis placed on education. Education at all levels. The jewel in the crown is the National University of Singapore.”

The nation’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) – up from 15th place on last year – described its progress as ‘a remarkable achievement’, with its president Professor Bertil Andersson adding: “The top two Asian universities in the world rankings are now both from Singapore. Young Singaporeans can be very proud.”

Describing the task of pulling the complete guide together as ‘very challenging’, chair of the QS global advisory board, Martin Ince, said millions of potential students look at the rankings which factor into their application decisions.

Based on six performance indicators, the rankings are designed to assess universities across four areas: research, teaching, employability, and internationalisation.

Each of the six indicators carries a different weighting when calculating the overall scores, and include:

See the complete QS World University Rankings® 2015/16 list here.