NEW Ajou ranks ninth among Korean universities, rising by 100 places in 2024 THE World University Rankings
Ajou University ranked in 501-600th place in the 2024 THE World University Rankings. It moved up this year with better scores in education, research quality, industry, and international outlook than last year.
Ajou University ranked in 501-600th place in the recently-released 2024 THE World University Rankings. Among Korean universities, it ranked ninth, jumping by 100 places from its 601-800th rank last year.
Times Higher Education (THE) is a UK university assessment institution that releases the World University Rankings annually along with Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). The 2024 rankings included 1,904 universities in 108 countries.
This year, Ajou University recorded higher scores in most performance indicators compared to last year, with remarkable improvements in research quality & industry and industry & teaching pillars. This is the result of Ajou faculty members’ hard work and the university’s support for research performance and broader application of technology. Ajou University has been dedicated to recruiting excellent faculty members and strengthening its research environment by creating a quality-based outstanding thesis award, expanding research funding for new faculty, inviting quality researchers from overseas academic conferences, and increasing support for international industry-university collaborative research.
Furthermore, Ajou University has strived to bolster industry-university cooperation toward ensuring that technology developed at Ajou becomes widely used across society. By participating in government-sponsored projects, including LINC 3.0, Ajou University has expanded its exchanges and cooperation with companies and specialists. It has also made efforts to increase technology commercialization by having its technology commercialization team provide strong, tailored support to researchers.
Efforts for education innovation are also underway, such as the “Paran Semester: Ajou Challenge Semester” program. Launched in 2016, the Paran Semester allows students to earn credits by proposing and carrying out tasks. Over a total of 15 semesters, from the first semester of 2016 to the first semester of 2023, 1,623 students in 419 teams have participated in the program. For the second semester of 2023, 186 students in 42 teams are participating.
The “Paran Semester: Extreme” and “Paran Semester: MOOC” programs were introduced in 2019 and 2021, respectively, to expand the scope of students’ endeavors and have them tackle more challenging tasks. The Paran Semester: Extreme program encourages students to take interest in social issues and seek solutions themselves. The Paran Semester: MOOC program enables students to choose from among open online courses offered by universities globally, create their own curriculum, and earn credits.
Ajou University operates various educational programs in which students participate voluntarily to strengthen their convergence capabilities. Among them are “Course Pairing,” where students solve problems using the knowledge and techniques they have learned from two or more courses; “Micro Major,” consisting of 9 to 15 credits, and “Student-designed Major.” These programs allow students to pursue their studies in specific areas of interest more deeply and extensively. The Student-designed Major program is scheduled to commence from the second semester of this year.
Jwa Myeong-hyeon (Department of Mechanical Engineering, 22), the first student to participate in the Student-designed Major program, said, “I created a curriculum related to the basics of topological physics based on mathematics and physics courses. I want to study topological physics and become a researcher involved in diverse applications of this field of study in multiple disciplines, including mechanical engineering.” As topological physics combines physics, mathematics, and mechanical engineering, Jwa plans to take the courses of his choosing over five semesters.
In its long-term development plan, “Ajou Vision 5.0,” Ajou University, marking its 50th anniversary, set four goals: cultivation of future-oriented talents, achievement of world-class research outcomes, realization of social values, and achievement of global competitiveness. To this end, Ajou University intends to strengthen new normal convergence education, foster a future value research ecosystem, build an industry-university co-prosperity platform, and promote Ajou as a global university.
THE assesses 18 performance indicators in five areas: teaching, research environment, research quality, international outlook, and industry. This year, the number of indicators was increased from 13 to 18, still in five areas, and a few indicators were renamed. Teaching is assessed based on student-staff ratio, institutional income, and teaching reputation; research environment, based on research reputation, research income, and research productivity; research quality, based on citation impact, research strength, research influence, and research excellence; international outlook, based on international students, international staff, and international co-authorship; and, finally, industry, based on industry income and patents.
In the 2024 THE World University Rankings, Oxford University ranked No. 1 for the eighth year in a row. Standford University of the United States ranked second, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ranked third. The top 20 positions were largely occupied by universities of the United States and UK. Among Asian universities, Tsinghua University of China ranked 12th globally and first in Asia, followed by Peking University (14th) and the National University of Singapore (19th).