Top 10 young universities in physical sciences 2019

Fresh eyes and new approaches are driving physics forward.

23 October 2019

Bec Crew


Physics professor, Ambrogio Fasoli, in the safety turnstile of the nuclear test reactor Tokomak at the Swiss Plasma Center of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne.

Of the universities around the world aged 50 and under, these are the most prolific in high-quality physical sciences research.

Asia dominates these top-performing young universities, with the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences coming out on top. The University of Paris-Sud in France and Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne in Switzerland are the only non-Asian universities in the top ten.

Young universities from China, Singapore, South Korea, India and Saudi Arabia round out the rest.

According to a new Nature Index analysis, young universities produce more chemistry and physical sciences research than life sciences research, accounting for 44% and 36%, respectively, of the group’s total fractional count.

By comparison, an analysis of global institutions of all ages in the Nature Index found that chemistry accounted for 37% of total output, life sciences accounted for 31%, and physical sciences accounted for 30%.

The stronger focus on physical sciences and chemistry among young universities, contrary to what might be expected given the boom in life sciences in the past few decades, may reflect the dominance of Chinese institutions universities in the young rankings.

Though things are changing, post-Liberation Chinese science emphasized the physical sciences and chemistry. Young universities may have struggled to break with this tradition.

Below are the top ten young universities in the physical sciences. Mouse over to see full names, locations, and fractional counts in the subject:

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The top 10 institutions for physical sciences in 2018

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