India did not fare as well in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018, released on Tuesday, as it did in the previous list. The number of Indian universities named among the top 1,000 dropped from 31 to 30.

A significant downgrade in the Times’ 2018 list, however, is the Indian Institute of Science’s fall from the 201-250 band to the 251-300 one. India’s flagship institute declined in ranking because of a drop in its research influence score and research income

The Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, Madras and Kanpur also fell by at least one band in their ranking. But IIT-Bombay retained its position in the 351-400 band.

Government policy blamed

Universities in India suffered because of the government’s policy limiting foreign varsities from establishing branches and awarding degrees in the country, the report said. The policy also prevents universities from hiring international scholars for long-term faculty positions.

“It is disappointing that India has declined in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings amid increasing global competition,” said Editorial Director of the Times Higher Education Global Rankings Phil Baty. “As leading universities in other Asian territories such as China, Hong Kong and Singapore are consistently rising up the rankings, in part thanks to high and sustained levels of funding, India’s flagship the Indian Institute of Science moves further away from the elite top 200.”

Baty said India’s overall research income and research quality had improved this year. He believes that India’s “world-class university plan...recognises the importance of investing in higher education, which may reverse India’s decline in the rankings in future years”.

Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018

American universities fared the best

The Oxford University in the United Kingdom continued to top the World University Rankings, followed by the Cambridge University, also in the UK, and the California Institute of Technology in the United States.

Baty said the US dominated the rankings with twice as many universities in the top 200 than other leading nations. “This year’s table is testament to just how competitive global higher education has become, with the top 1,000 universities hailing from 77 different countries,” he said.