No Indian university or institution of higher education figures in the global top 100, but the latest rankings released on Tuesday show that the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), which was in the 201-250 band last year, has slipped into the 251-300 band.

In the Times Higher Education's 14th annual edition of its World University Rankings – which ranks the top 1,000 universities from 77 countries – performance of Indian centres of learning has deteriorated, with its share of universities falling from 31 to 30 in the top 1,000.  

“IISc has fallen largely due to drops in its research influence score and research income. The Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and Indian Institute of Technology Madras have also dropped by at least one band” it said.

Globally, the University of Oxford retains first place, the University of Cambridge climbs two places to second, overtaking California Institute of Technology and Stanford University, both joint third. While the United States continues to dominate the rankings, Chinese universities are rapidly climbing year-on-year.

Phil Baty, editorial director, Global Rankings at Times Higher Education (THE), said: “It is disappointing that India has declined in the THE World University Rankings amid increasing global competition”.

“As leading universities in other Asian territories such as China, Hong Kong and Singapore are consistently rising up the rankings, in part thanks to high and sustained levels of funding, India’s flagship the Indian Institute of Science moves further away from the elite top 200”.

Baty added that there was “some really positive news” of India’s overall research income and research quality rising this year; and that India’s university plan showed that it recognises the importance of investing in higher education, which may reverse India’s decline in the rankings in future years.

Indian universities performed poorly on the internationalisation pillar, with all except one dropping places when ranked on this measurement, mainly due to other universities rising at a faster rate, a statement on the rankings said.

“Government policy strictly limits the number of students from abroad who can study in India and prevents international scholars from being hired into long-term faculty positions. However, India may recover on this metric because of its world-class university plan, which aims to provide additional funding for selected public and private universities for infrastructure and academics”, it added.