India Leads QS 2024, more universities than China

India has now become the only country in Asia to have the highest number of universities. Currently, the country has the “most represented higher education system” in the region, with 148 featured universities. It is followed by Mainland China with 133 and Japan with 96 universities.  

The rapidly evolving landscape of higher education in the country is manifesting itself in the growing prominence of Indian universities in the rankings. IISc Bengaluru, Delhi University and five Indian Institutes of Technology- Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Kharagpur and Kanpur, have secured positions in the elite top 100 institutes in Asia, as per the 16th edition of the QS World University Rankings: Asia 2024.


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India’s education system has developed significantly over the years, thanks to the progressive institutional structure. Their emphasis on high-quality education, research and innovation has bolstered India’s position globally.

According to the Quacquarelli Sy monds (QS) Asia University Rankings 2024 (16th edition), India now has the ‘most represented’ higher education system with as many as 148 featured universities, 30 more than last year. India featured 118 universities in 2023.

With more universities than China, India now leads in this aspect. China with 133 universities is second and Japan with 96 universities is ranked third. Other countries like South Korea are represented with 87 institutions, Pakistan by 63 institutions and Vietnam has been represented by 15 institutions. Overall there are 856 institutions from 25 countries listed on the QS Asia University Rankings 2024.

In his statement, QS Vice President, Ben Sowter noted, “Asian higher education continues to expand exponentially in scale and remains one of the fastest growing sectors in the world. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in India, which surpasses China for its number of ranked universities.”

A glance at top performers in the region

As per the QS World University Rankings: Asia 2024, Peking University has secured the top position for the second consecutive year, followed by the University of Hong Kong. The University of Hong Kong has improved its rank by two positions this year. Last year, it was ranked fourth. Peking University, Beijing, secured the highest (100) for academic reputation as an indicator and the lowest (56.6) for Inbound Exchange as an indicator.

Amongst the top 10 universities in the ranking list, China is represented by four institutions. Hong Kong, South Korea, and Singapore are represented by two universities each. Myanmar, Cambodia, and Nepal have also appeared in the rankings for the first time.

Top 10 performers in the QS World University Rankings: Asia 2024

Asian rank  University                                                                              Location
1 Peking University Mainland China
2 The University of Hong Kong Hong Kong SAR
3 National University of Singapore Singapore
=4 Nanyang Technological University Singapore
=4 Tsinghua University Mainland China
6 Zhejiang University Mainland China
7 Fudan University Mainland China
8 Yonsei University South Korea
9 Korea University South Korea
10 The Chinese University of Hong Kong Hong Kong SAR

 Performance of Indian Universities: A brief overview

IISc Bangalore, together with five Indian Institutes of Technology (Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Kharagpur, and Kanpur) and Delhi University, have all succeeded in securing positions in the esteemed top 100 Asian universities like they did in the year before. Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT Bombay) has secured 40th rank in the QS Asia University Rankings.

IIT Bombay has earned an overall score of 67.2 out of 100. The institute achieved a score of 83.5 in academic reputation, 96 in employer reputation, 9.3 in citation per paper, 14.8 in faculty-student ratio, 100 in staff with PhD, 95.7 in papers per faculty, 66.3 international research network, 11.1 in international faculty ratio, 3 in international students’ ratio, 2.1 in inbound exchange and 4.1 in outbound exchange. (All scores are out of a maximum of 100 points).

IIT Guwahati, IIT Roorkee, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Chandigarh University (CU) and Banaras Hindu University have secured ranks in the 100-200 belt. The Chandigarh University (CU) has climbed up to the 149th spot this year, from the 185th spot attained in the previous edition of the ranking (2023).

Some noteworthy highlights for Indian universities based on key indicators include:

  • remarkable level of research output by volume
  • overall stability with around 50% of the ranked universities being either stable or having improved
  • highly trained faculty
  • substantial improvement for specific institutions

Indian Universities in QS World University Rankings (WUR): Top-200 Asia Universities (2024)

2024 (Asia Ranking) QS WUR Institution Name
 40 149 Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IITB)
46 197 Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IITD)
53 285 Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM)
58 225 Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
59 271 Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-KGP)
63 278 Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IITK)
94 407 University of Delhi
111 364 Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (IITG)
116 369 Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (IITR)
117 606 Jawaharlal Nehru University
149 777 Chandigarh University
163 888 Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT)
171 Bharathiar University
179 427 Anna University
186 1100 Amity University
187 847 University of Calcutta
199 1084 Banaras Hindu University

According to QS, India produces an exceptional amount of research, as seven of Asia’s 10 best universities for papers per faculty are Indian, including Anna University (Chennai) and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (West Bengal). India also accounted for the highest number of new entrants in the QS World University Rankings (WUR): Asia 2024. While China had only seven new entrants, India had 30 new entries.

In terms of year-on-year performance, 21 Indian universities are improving while 15 remain unchanged. India has attained the second-best regional results in the ‘papers per faculty’ metric among the higher education systems, having over ten universities in the rankings. In papers per faculty, India scored 36 against 14.8. The country has also achieved its best average score for faculty with PhD indicators. In QS’ staff with PhD indicator, nine of the top 10 universities are Indian.

With India having achieved its best average score of 42.3 as against 22, for the staff with PhD indicator, it indicates a robust research output and a highly qualified faculty body. This accomplishment demonstrates the potential for Indian institutions to leverage their ‘academic rigour and research capabilities’ to further elevate their global stature.

India’s outbound student mobility, according to QS, signifies an important milestone, surpassing that of China for the first time in 15 years. There has been a significant increase in the number of students seeking education in the US. Meanwhile, efforts are being made by the country to increase its appeal to foreign students.

However, India’s performance in the international research network indicator, with a score of 15.4 falls slightly below the regional average of 18.8. Additionally, the country’s score in academic reputation and employer reputation also falls below the regional average. India’s score in academic reputation is 11.8 points as against a regional average of 19 and in employer reputation, the score is 9.6 as against 18.

According to the QS statement, India seems to be making a concerted effort to strike a balance between its two ambitious goals: catering to the educational needs of its vast domestic student population and enhancing its appeal to international students.


The QS World University Rankings: Asia 2024, highlights the rising stature of the Indian higher education system. In the years ahead, Indian universities are expected to see further growth and success with ongoing initiatives towards internationalization, research output, and academic recognition.

The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) is a UK-based company that specializes in the analysis of higher education institutions across the world. QS ranks the institutions on the basis of 10 indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty-student ratio, international relation network, citations per paper, paper per faculty, staff with PhD, international faculty, international students, and outbound exchange students.

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