VANI DORAISAMY

We always knew they could compare favourably with any of the world's top universities. Now, the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) has given credence to what generations of Indian students had experientially proved: the recently released THES-QS World University Rankings 2006/07 has put the Indian Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Management at the 57th and 68th slots respectively among the world's top universities. The IIM, especially, has moved 26 places up from last year's rankings.Not surprisingly, Asian universities have considerably improved their showings: of the 24 new entrants into the top 200 from all parts of the world, Japan alone has three. Japan, especially, has done exceedingly well, with 11 of its institutions finding representation among the top 200.The THES-QS World University Rankings are published in partnership with Quacquarelli Symonds, the international education and career development group. The surveys first started in 2004.Among Asian universities, Malaysia's Universiti Kebangsaan, Korea University, Japan's Osaka University and the Seoul National University have put up impressive performances to find places within the top 200. Seven Asian universities find place within the top 50, though not yet within the top 10. The rankings were devised from the views of 3,703 of the world's top academicians and 736 recruiters.Though Harvard University remains at the top of the pile, its nearest rivals seem to be fast catching up. The second rank has gone to the University of Cambridge which has displaced the Massachusetts Institute of Technology which is now at fourth place. Oxford University is placed third.Among the others, Colombia University has moved to the 12th rank.