Strengthen Basic Research Imperative For Self Reliance In Sci & Tech

Most recent Nature Index shows that universities of China outperform Western ones in terms of producing high-caliber scientific research.

Strengthen Basic Research Imperative For Self Reliance In Sci & Tech

The most recent Nature Index shows that universities of China outperform Western ones like Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, and Caltech in terms of producing high-caliber scientific research. According to the list, seven of the top ten contributors were Chinese. This underlines the rising stature of Chinese universities in the world of science.

The index was created using “simple, transparent, and up-to-date metrics that demonstrate high quality research and collaboration” between February 1, 2022, and January 31, according to Nature.

With the exception of Harvard University, which came in second, the top five spots were dominated by large organisations like the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the Max Plank Society in Germany, and the French National Centre for Scientific Research.

The top three universities in the rankings were Harvard, the University of Science and Technology of China, and the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS), with Harvard, UCS, and UCAS making up the majority of the rankings. Fourth, fifth, and sixth place, respectively, went to Nanjing University, Peking University, and Tsinghua University.

Zhejiang University comes in eighth, followed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, and Zhejiang University.

According to the QS World University Rankings, Oxford is ranked 16th while Cambridge is ranked 19th. According to the Nature Index, Sun Yat-sen University outperforms Oxford by 22% in terms of high-quality research contributions.

In comparison to their QS rankings, North American universities scored lower in the Nature Index. Caltech, which is ranked sixth overall, came in at number 47, while University of Chicago came in at number 51. The top two universities were both in China: Peking University and Tsinghua University. Nanjing University and USTC were ranked 133 and 94, respectively.

The rapid progress China has made in closing the gap between the US and China in terms of high-quality research output between 2015 and 2023 is shown by the Nature Index.

A key metric of the index, China’s share of high-caliber publications has increased from 37% in 2015 to 69% in 2020. China’s share surpassed the US’ this year by 20%. With more than twice as much research as their American counterparts, Chinese universities clearly dominate the field of chemistry.

In physics, USTC, Tsinghua University and UCAS took the top three places in the Nature Index rankings. Correspondingly, the US maintained a substantial lead in life sciences, with its research output more than triple that of China’s.

The growth of Chinese research is in part associated with the return to China of many well-known scientists, a shift that has included switching their academic affiliations to institutions in the country.

Additionally, an article published in August by the peer-reviewed journal Science indicated that Chinese scientists have leapt to the forefront in terms of the number of highly-cited papers published.

“The research level of Chinese universities has been significantly enhanced. Since the pace is fast, there is naturally more research output,” Xiamen University professor Peng Li said.

Parents are concerned about the effects of China’s zero-Covid policies on post-lockdown college entrance exams. China’s impressive outcomes, according to Professor Liu Zunfeng of Nankai University, are the result of its emphasis on fundamental scientific research.

The Nature Index, on the other hand, has a small scope and mainly concentrates on a select group of journals from various disciplines. The index only covers the natural sciences and reflects one area of research.

Many scientific research institutions prefer to keep their technology under wraps rather than writing papers or filing patents. As a result, this list’s information is only partially accurate, he said.

A school’s wealth and accolades are taken into account as indicators of its “soft power” in rankings by QS and US News, which frequently place Chinese universities lower. The Nature Index does not take these factors into account.

When recommending foreign institutions, a Beijing study abroad agency primarily takes QS rankings into account while also taking factors like faculty calibre and graduation rates into account. Students pick highly regarded institutions that fit their professional interests.

International exchanges are essential for international study, which is regarded as a significant component of academic training. After earning a doctoral degree, postdoctoral research abroad is recommended because it broadens perspectives.

Peng sees the chance to study abroad as a crucial component of the college experience. “Students should first consider better overseas colleges when pursuing further education because many universities place a premium on international experience when hiring,” she advised. But if all they get are offers from regular colleges, I’d advise them to look for a better university in China.