UI Still Indonesia’s Best University, but Global Rankings Highlight National Dearth of Innovation


SEPTEMBER 15, 2015

Jakarta. Indonesian universities endured mixed fortunes in an annual list of the world’s leading tertiary education institutions, but in general continue to rank far behind their regional counterparts.

The University of Indonesia was still the highest-ranked Indonesian school in the recently released QS World University Rankings 2015/16, but dropped 48 spots from last year to 358th place.

The Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) remained Indonesia’s number two representative on the list, charging up 30 spots to the 431-460 range. Muhammadiyah University in Solo, Central Java, made its debut in the latest ranking, joining a host of other schools in the 701+ band.

Six other Indonesian universities that featured in last year’s ranking made no advances this year, including Yogyakarta’s Gadjah Mada University (UGM), ranked the 551-600 range; and Airlangga University (Surabaya), Bogor Institute of Agriculture, Dipenogoro University (Semarang, Central Java), Sepuluh Nopemebr Institute of Technology (Surabaya) and Brawijaya University (Malang, East Java) all huddled in the 701+ range.

“Indonesia is one of the fastest-growing economies and populations on the planet and it needs more world-class universities and research centers to produce both the innovation and the skilled workforce necessary to compete globally,” Ben Stower, the head of research at the QS Intelligence Unit, said in a statement on Tuesday.

No Indonesian universities made the top 700 in the research citations sub-ranking, showing that more resources must be invested in developing an international research profile, the statement added.

Universities from the United States and Britain continued to dominate the top 10 of this year’s QS rankings. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology remains the world’s best university according to the index, followed by Harvard University, rising from fourth place last year. The University of Cambridge and Stanford University are tied for third place this year, after coming in second and seventh, respectively, in the previous rankings.

The California Institute of Technology is in fifth place from eighth last year, while the University of Oxford dropped one place down to sixth this year.

The best university in Asia is the National University of Singapore, which is 12th worldwide according to the survey, up 10 spots from last year. Australian National University climbed six spots to take 19th place globally.

The QS World University Rankings evaluate universities on six weighted indicators. Academic reputation is by far the most important indicator (based on a global survey of academics), followed by employer reputation, faculty-to-student ratio, citations per faculty, international student ratio, and international staff ratio.