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Top Universities Under 50 Years Old in 2014/15

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Today sees the launch of the new edition of the QS Top 50 Under 50, a ranking of the world’s top universities under 50 years old, based on the QS World University Rankings® 2014/15. There’s hot competition at the top this year, between two of Asia’s most ambitious and successful young institutions: Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Hong Kong’s Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

Having narrowly overtaken HKUST in the overall QS World University Rankings this year, NTU now heads the Top 50 Under 50 for the first time, with HKUST slipping into second position. However, Hong Kong continues to boast an impressive selection of the world’s most prominent young institutions; the city boasts a further three entries among the 50 top universities under 50 years old: City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU).

Strong showing for young Australian universities

The single largest contingent of youthful top universities comes from Australia, which occupies an entire fifth of the top 50 spots. Its highest ranked young institutions are the University of Newcastle, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and the University of Wollongong. Next comes Spain, with five universities featured, followed by Hong Kong and the UK with four apiece, and Germany with three. A total of 25 countries claim at least one representative.

The top 10 (listed below) includes three universities in Hong Kong, two in South Korea, and one each in Singapore, the Netherlands, the US, Canada and Spain.

Top 10 Universities in the QS Top 50 Under 50 2014/15

2014 rank

2013 rank

QS World University Rankings 2014/15

University

Country

Foundation year

1

2

39

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Singapore

1991†

2

1

40

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)

Hong Kong

1991

3

3

51

KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)

South Korea

1971

4

5

86=

Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)

South Korea

1986

5

4

108

City University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong

1984

6

6

118

Maastricht University

Netherlands

1976

7

7

153

University of California, Irvine (UCI)

US

1965

8

8

162=

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Hong Kong

1994†

9

13

171=

University of Calgary

Canada

1966†

10

9

173=

Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona

Spain

1968

The QS Top 50 Under 50 is compiled based on the annual QS World University Rankings, which assesses universities worldwide using six performance indicators. The aim is to highlight young institutions which have rapidly made a mark on the world stage, establishing strong global reputations and research clout within a relatively short space of time.

+An institution of higher education, although typically not one with university status, existed at the site where this university now stands; the university can "trace its roots" back further than 50 years but cannot claim to have been a university prior to that period.

Written by Laura Bridgestock

The editor of TopUniversities.com, Laura oversees the site's editorial content and student forums. She also edits the QS Top Grad School Guide and contributes to market research reports including How Do Students Use Rankings?

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