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Top Universities in Asia for Natural Sciences 2014

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To accompany the QS University Rankings: Asia, the QS Intelligence Unit publishes an analysis of the top universities in Asia for five major subject groups: arts & humanities, social sciences & management, engineering & technology, life sciences & medicine, and natural sciences (see below).

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This list is compiled based on a huge global survey of academics, to give an indication of which leading Asian universities have the strongest international reputation in each field.

Below is a look at the top universities in Asia for natural sciences this year, as rated by academics worldwide, accompanied by a closer look at their strongest natural sciences disciplines according to the latest edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject.

1. University of Tokyo

Japan’s University of Tokyo is rated among the top universities in Asia across every subject field; it heads four of the five categories, coming second to the National University of Singapore in social sciences and management. In the QS World University Rankings by Subject, the University of Tokyo ranks within the world’s top 10 for both physics and chemistry. It’s also within the top 20 for Earth and marine sciences and for materials science, and within the top 50 for mathematics, environmental sciences and geography.

2. Kyoto University

Fellow Japanese institution Kyoto University is close behind, both here and in the overall Asia ranking. In the latter, however, both appear lower due to weaker scores on the other indicators used. In the Rankings by Subject, Kyoto’s strongest natural science is chemistry, for which it ranks 13th in the world. It’s within the global top 30 for physics, materials science and mathematics, and the top 50 for Earth and marine sciences and environmental sciences.

3. National University of Singapore (NUS)

The National University of Singapore (NUS) combines a strong international reputation with robust scores across the other indicators to rank as this year’s overall number one in the QS University Rankings: Asia. It appears high-up in the majority of disciplines covered by the QS World University Rankings by Subject, claiming its strongest natural science score in materials science, for which it’s ranked 6= in the world. It’s also within the global top 20 for geography, chemistry, mathematics and environmental sciences, and in the physics top 50.

4. Peking University

China’s Peking University, currently at 8th in the overall Asia ranking, is another example of an institution which would rank much higher if the list were based solely on the view of academics. Within the natural sciences, its strongest area is chemistry, for which it currently ranks 15th in world. It also appears within the global top 50 for materials science, mathematics, physics, environmental sciences and Earth & marine sciences.

5. Tsinghua University

Close behind its country-mate, Tsinghua University consolidates China’s strong reputation for natural science disciplines. While typically following a few steps behind Peking, Tsinghua actually ranks the higher of the two in several of the natural sciences covered in the Rankings by Subject. It’s ranked 10th in the world for materials science (Peking is 28th) and 17th for environmental sciences (Peking is 34th). Tsinghua University also ranks among the global top 50 for chemistry and mathematics.

6. Seoul National University (SNU)

South Korea’s Seoul National University (SNU) remains in fourth place in the overall QS University Rankings: Asia, but it’s no longer the country’s highest entry, since KAIST - Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology has climbed from sixth to second place. SNU has several particularly strong natural science rankings, coming 16th in the world for chemistry, 18th for environmental sciences and within the top 50 for materials science.

7. University of Hong Kong (HKU)

Having formerly topped the Asia ranking, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has lost some ground to the leading Singaporean and South Korean institutions, now standing third among the top universities in Asia overall. Within the natural sciences, its strongest appearance in the QS World University Rankings by Subject comes in geography, for which it ranks 25th. It also appears within the global top 50 for Earth & marine sciences, chemistry and mathematics.

8. National Taiwan University (NTU)

As well as being Taiwan’s strongest-reputed university in the natural sciences, National Taiwan University (NTU) is also the country’s overall leader, at 21st overall in the latest QS University Rankings: Asia. In the Rankings by Subject, its strongest scores in this field are for Earth & marine sciences, chemistry and materials science; it ranks among the world’s top 50 for each.

9. Tokyo Institute of Technology

Japan’s Tokyo Institute of Technology is ranked 15th overall in the 2014 QS University Rankings: Asia. It’s especially well rated by academics in both natural sciences and engineering and technology subjects, where it comes fifth among universities in Asia. In the Rankings by Subject, its strongest natural science is chemistry (20th in the world), while it’s also within the world’s top 50 for physics and for Earth and marine sciences.

10. KAIST - Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

Leaping to second position in the overall Asia ranking this year, KAIST - Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology similarly enjoys an especially strong reputation in both natural sciences and engineering and technology disciplines. Its strongest individual natural science disciplines, based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject, are materials science and chemistry, for which it ranks 16th and 17= in the world respectively.

Top universities in Asia for natural sciences, 2014

1

The University of Tokyo

Japan

2

Kyoto University

Japan

3

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Singapore

4

Peking University

China

5

Tsinghua University

China

6

Seoul National University (SNU)

South Korea

7

University of Hong Kong (HKU)

Hong Kong

8

National Taiwan University (NTU)

Taiwan

9

Tokyo Institute of Technology

Japan

10

KAIST - Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

South Korea

11

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)

Hong Kong

12

Osaka University

Japan

13

Fudan University

China

14

Tohoku University

Japan

15

University of Science and Technology of China

China

16

Nanjing University

China

17

Nagoya University

Japan

18

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)

Hong Kong

19

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Singapore

20

Shanghai Jiao Tong University

China

21

Hokkaido University

Japan

22

Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)

South Korea

23

Zhejiang University

China

24

Indian Institute of Science

India

25

Kyushu University

Japan

26

Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB)

India

27

Sungkyunkwan University

South Korea

28

National Tsing Hua University

Taiwan

29

Yonsei University

South Korea

30

Korea University

South Korea

31

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD)

India

32

University of Tsukuba

Japan

33

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK)

India

34

Chulalongkorn University

Thailand

35

Beijing Normal University

China

36

Waseda University

Japan

37

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM)

India

38

City University of Hong Kong

Hong Kong

39

Nankai University

China

40

Hiroshima University

Japan

41

Kasetsart University

Thailand

42

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Hong Kong

43

Shanghai University

China

44

Universiti Malaya (UM)

Malaysia

45

Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)

Malaysia

46

University of Science and Technology Beijing

China

47

Beijing Institute of Technology

China

48

Wuhan University

China

49

Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IITKGP)

India

50

Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB)

Indonesia

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. The top universities in Asia for natural sciences, listed above, are identified based on analysis of the academic reputation survey. 

Image credits: Fran C. Muller / Shutterstock.com (University of Tokyo), e X p o s e / Shutterstock.com (NTU)

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Written by Laura Bridgestock
The former 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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2 Comments

How i know
Can i apply for a chemistry scholarship according my GCE A/L resualts......
Can u please help me find scolarship...
Chemistry -S
Physics-S
Biology-C

Hi Hashan, I'm afraid we don't currently list scholarships to study Chemistry, however we do have many listings of scholarships (subject, region and student-specific) on our main scholarships to study abroad page. Hope this helps.