The 13th edition of the Quackquarelli Symonds World University Rankings 2016-17, which was released on Tuesday, had no Indian institutes among the top 150. The Institute of Science, Bangalore, one again emerged the top Indian university, but its worldwide position came down five places from last year to 152 .
The six other Indian universities within the top 400 on the list were Indian Institutes of Technology-Delhi, IIT-Bombay, IIT-Madras, IIT-Kanpur, IIT-Kharagpur and IIT-Roorkee. IIT- Guwahati featured in the 481-490 band. Barring IIT-Madras, all the others dropped places. IIT Madras climbed five positions to be among the top 250.
According to Ben Sowter, head of research at the QS Intelligence Unit, the drop in the rankings for Indian institutions was because of two factors. One, a relatively low number of PhD-qualified researchers and second, a poor international faculty ratio. He said no Indian institution ranks above 700 in the international faculty ratio metric. This parameter measures the ability of universities to maintain class sizes that help in providing high-quality teaching.
Sowter said, "This year's rankings imply that levels of investment are determining who progresses and who regresses. Institutions in countries that provide high levels of targeted funding, whether from endowments or from the public purse, are rising.” However, four Indian institutions are among the world’s top 100 for research impact. According to Business Standard, IISC Bangalore is ranked the 11th best research institution in the world.
Globally, Massachusetts Institute of Technology held the first position for the fifth consecutive year. It is followed by Harvard University and Stanford University.