For the first time, an Indian educational institute has broken into the top 10 of a global university rankings. On Tuesday, the Times Higher Education (THE) revealed that India is home to one of the world’s best small universities, as it made public the 2017 edition of the rankings. Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, has been ranked eighth at the ‘THE’s Best Small Universities in the World 2017’. However, India’s overall show in the ranking took a hit this year, as there were two institutions in the top 20 last year, though none were in top 10. Small universities are those with fewer than 5,000 students.
IISc, a public university for scientific research and higher education, was established in 1909 with active support from Jamsetji Tata and Sir Krishnaraja Wodeyar IV, the Maharaja of Mysore. In 2015-16 it became the first Indian institute to be ranked among the top 100 in THE World University Rankings for engineering and technology at 99th position.
IISc now joins the elite list that includes California Institute of Technology (Caltech) from the US, Ecole Normale Superieure from France and Pohang University of Science and Technology, South Korea. Caltech continues to retain its leadership position, and France and Italy each take three places among the top 10.
Despite the new high, India has two misses. Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, and Savitribai Phule Pune University which were ranked 14 and 18 respectively in the 2016 edition could not retain their spots in the top 20 this time.
Seeta Bhardwa, student editor at THE said, “The Best Small Universities in the World for 2017 highlights that small universities provide high student satisfaction and good working relationships between students and their professors. Many students are drawn to smaller class sizes, higher teacher to student ratios and the communitylike feel that a small university can provide.”