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Top 10 Universities in Asia for Natural Sciences 2013

By Laura Bridgestock

Updated March 5, 2016 Updated March 5, 2016

Discover the top 10 universities in Asia for natural sciences, as rated by academics. This list is based on QS’s global survey of academics, one part of the information used in creating the QS University Rankings: Asia.

1. University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo is extremely difficult to beat in terms of its reputation among the academic community. In QS’s global survey of academics, it’s currently rated Asia’s best university not only for natural sciences, but also for life sciences, engineering & technology and arts & humanities. However, the QS University Rankings: Asia consider a further eight indicators – and once these are added into the mix, Tokyo comes out in 9th place.

2. Kyoto University

Natural sciences are clearly a strong area for Japan, with Kyoto University close behind Tokyo in the academic survey – and another two Japanese universities also within the top 10. This appears to be Kyoto’s strongest subject field, based on academic reputation at least, though it’s also rated Asia’s third best for life sciences.

3. Peking University

China’s Peking University gets strong ratings from academics across all the subject areas, coming out at third overall for academic reputation in Asia. Overall in the QS University Rankings: Asia, Peking is currently in fifth place.

4. National University of Singapore (NUS)

NUS is another strong performer across the board, currently ranked 2= (joint with the University of Hong Kong) in the overall QS University Rankings: Asia. As well as having one of the strongest reputations of universities in Asia, it’s also among a group of Asian universities gaining increasing prominence at the international level.

5. Tsinghua University

Tsinghua is currently ranked 14th in the overall QS University Rankings: Asia – but as its position here suggests, it would rank much higher if the ranking was based solely on reputation. It’s rated Asia’s 7th best by academics, and 2nd best by graduate employers (second to NUS).

6. Seoul National University (SNU)

Korea’s highest ranking university, Seoul National University maintains fourth position overall in this year’s QS University Rankings: Asia. It has a very strong academic reputation across the board, also rated within Asia’s top 10 for arts & humanities, social sciences & management, and life sciences & medicine.

7. University of Hong Kong (HKU)

The University of Hong Kong is in fact 2= in the overall QS University Rankings: Asia, sharing this position with NUS. It’s similarly strong across multiple subject areas, and overall is rated Asia’s 5th best university by academics, and 7th by employers.

8. National Taiwan University (NTU)

While Taiwan’s flagship public university does not appear in the overall QS University Rankings: Asia until 22nd, it does score very well in the global survey of academics. National Taiwan University is rated within Asia’s top 10 not only for natural sciences, but also arts & humanities and life sciences & medicine – and is just outside the top 10 for engineering & technology.

9. Osaka University

Osaka University would also come out with a higher overall position if the QS University Rankings: Asia was based solely on academic reputation; it’s currently 15th in the overall ranking, but 12th in the academic survey. Osaka also has a very strong score for faculty-student ratio, just outside Asia’s top 10 on this measure.

10. Tokyo Institute of Technology

The fourth Japanese university within this top 10, Tokyo Institute of Technology has a strong reputation across the science and technology subjects on which it focuses. Its highest rating from surveyed academics is actually for engineering & technology, for which it is currently rated Asia’s 4th best university.

About the QS University Rankings: Asia

Published annually since 2009, the QS University Rankings: Asia ranks the top 300 universities in Asia. The ranking is based on nine indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty/student ratio, research papers per faculty member, citations per paper, international diversity of faculty, international diversity of students, inbound student exchange and outbound student exchange.

Top 50 Universities in Asia for Natural Sciences

2013Institution NameCountry/ Territory
1The University of TokyoJapan
2Kyoto UniversityJapan
3Peking UniversityChina
4National University of Singapore (NUS)Singapore
5Tsinghua UniversityChina
6Seoul National University (SNU)South Korea
7University of Hong Kong (HKU)Hong Kong
8National Taiwan University (NTU)Taiwan
9Osaka UniversityJapan
10Tokyo Institute of TechnologyJapan
11KAIST - Korea Advanced Institute of Science and TechnologySouth Korea
12The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)Hong Kong
13Fudan UniversityChina
14Tohoku UniversityJapan
15University of Science and Technology of ChinaChina
16Nagoya UniversityJapan
17Nanjing UniversityChina
18Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)South Korea
19The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)Hong Kong
20Shanghai Jiao Tong UniversityChina
21Nanyang Technological University (NTU)Singapore
22Zhejiang UniversityChina
23Hokkaido UniversityJapan
24Kyushu UniversityJapan
25Sungkyunkwan UniversitySouth Korea
26Yonsei UniversitySouth Korea
27Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB)India
28Indian Institute of ScienceIndia
29Korea UniversitySouth Korea
30Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD)India
31National Tsing Hua UniversityTaiwan
32University of TsukubaJapan
33Chulalongkorn UniversityThailand
34Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK)India
35Waseda UniversityJapan
36City University of Hong KongHong Kong
37Tokyo University of ScienceJapan
38Beijing Normal University China
39Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM)India
40University of Science and Technology BeijingChina
41Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)Malaysia
42Shanghai UniversityChina
43Hiroshima UniversityJapan
44Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IITKGP)India
45University of DelhiIndia
46Universiti Malaya (UM)Malaysia
47Kyung Hee UniversitySouth Korea
48National Cheng Kung UniversityTaian
49Nankai UniversityChina
50Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB)Indonesia

This article was originally published in July 2013 . It was last updated in March 2016

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Written by

The former editor of, Laura oversaw the site's editorial content and student forums. She also edited the QS Top Grad School Guide and contributed to market research reports, including 'How Do Students Use Rankings?'