China's domination of the elite Times Higher Education (THE) Emerging Economies Rankings continues, with the nation claiming one in every five positions of the 2018 table released Wednesday.
The annual ranking comprises more than 350 universities -- expanded from 300 last year -- from 42 countries and regions, across four continents.
With 94 Chinese institutions represented in the ranking (63 from Chinese mainland and 31 from China's Taiwan), China is home to the highest concentration of leading universities in the emerging economies nations.
70 of China's institutions make the table's Top 200 -- more than any other country. China also dominates the elite Top 10, claiming eight spots -- an increase from seven, with Nanjing University entering the Top 10 for the first time, having scaled three positions to rank at number eight.
For the fifth consecutive year, Peking University leads the table, with Tsinghua University ranked at number two. The two institutions achieved their highest ever ranking in the THE World University Rankings 2018 -- both featuring in its global Top 30.
China's Central South University also shines. The institution is the highest overall riser in the Top 200 -- jumping an 79 spots to reach number 110, with significant advancements in research impact, industry income, international outlook and citations.
Phil Baty, Editorial Director of Global Rankings for THE, said: "China has become a higher education superpower -- a global competitor alongside traditional Anglo-American heavyweights. Through its sustained heavy investment in its leading institutions -- focusing on attracting the very best global academics, nurturing international partnerships and developing its international publications, China has pioneered the higher education excellence model other emerging economies now strive to emulate."
This relatively new emphasis on strengthening international outlook will only see China's universities improve in the global rankings. It boosts reputation and research influence, and inspires the healthy competition, collaboration and global networks that drive up quality and standards for all, Baty added.
"Tsinghua and Peking Universities are now already among the very best universities in the world. If current high funding levels are sustained, and there is a relentless drive to attract the very best academic talent in the world. Their progress will continue."
India remains the second most represented nation overall, but substantially increases its representation with 42 institutions, up from 27 last year.
Meanwhile, a trend of decline cuts across Latin American, ASEAN and Eastern European countries, despite many increasing their overall representation.
The performance indicators of Emerging Economies Rankings are grouped into five areas: Teaching (the learning environment), Research (volume, income and reputation), Citations (research influence), International outlook (staff, students and research), and Industry Income (knowledge transfer).