Tsinghua University overtook the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to become the world’s No 1 university for engineering research, according to the newly published 2016 Best Global Universities Rankings by US News and World Report.
US News has been ranking US universities since 1983. The company began publishing global rankings last year, listing the world’s top 750 universities overall, as well as by region and country. A school’s research influence by academic subject is the benchmark for its rank.
Although Tsinghua University ranked 59th in the global list - compared with MIT’s No 2 and Peking University’s No 41 - the university exceeded all of its competitors in the field of engineering research.
Tsinghua was No 1 in publications, total citations and the number of publications among the 10 percent most-cited papers in engineering.
Xu Haiyun, a Tsinghua alumnus and the chief engineer of the China Urban Construction Design and Research Institute, attributed the success to the rapid development of China’s infrastructure in recent years, which created the chance for progress in engineering technology.
"Recent decades witnessed rapid growth of infrastructure construction on the Chinese mainland. We constructed the most tall buildings, bridges and railways in the world, and we educated the greatest number of engineering students, all of which requires advancement in engineering technology," Xu said.
"On the other hand, the speed also presents some practical problems - problems that developed countries are not facing. By solving these problems, our engineering technologies steadily improve," he said.
According to the latest research published by MyCOS, a Chinese company providing data analysis for higher education management, students who major in architecture, software engineering, network engineering, communication engineering, automotive engineering and mineral processing were more competitive than others in finding jobs last year.
The majors with the lowest employment rate and lowest pay include law, fine arts and applied psychology.
Wu Yan, director of the Ministry of Education’s Higher Education Evaluation Center, said in an earlier conference that China’s engineering education should develop a global vision.
Wu said that since China is adjusting its economic structure, improving its manufacturing power and implementing the Belt and Road Initiative, the country’s engineering education should answer the domestic need for talent and prepare young engineers for future competition.