China overtakes Japan as Asia's No 1 nation for world-class universities, according to the Asia University Rankings 2015 published Wednesday by the Times Higher Education.
Some 21 universities from the Chinese mainland enter the top 100 of the rankings, up from 18 last year, with Peking University taking fourth place and Tsinghua University being fifth.
China's special administrative regions also do well, with six universities from Hong Kong (two in the top 10) and one from Macao represented in the top 50.
Although the University of Tokyo remains Asia's No 1 institution, Japan slips to second place with 19 representatives in the prestigious top 100, down from 20 last year.
The Asia rankings use 13 performance indicators to examine each university's strengths against its core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook, according to Times Higher Education, a weekly magazine that provides information about higher education.
"This really is China's year. With three new entrants and some of the country's established universities climbing up the tables," Phil Baty, editor of the Times Higher Education Rankings.
Baty also said this is living proof that a serious commitment to higher education from a government that is prepared to invest in research and development really does pay off.