April 26, 2016 13:12
Korea seems to be losing its recently acquired edge in basic sciences. The rankings of major universities such as Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), Korea University and Seoul National University plummeted in the Nature Index 2016 out last week.
The index is regarded as the most authoritative barometer for measuring competitiveness in basic sciences, scoring universities and research bodies by analyzing articles published in 68 prestigious international journals.
Eleven Korean universities made it into the top 500 this year, and the rankings of eight have dropped.
SNU fell from 57th in 2015 to 67th, KAIST from 83rd to 94th. Sungkyunkwan University fell to 221st, Korea University to 250th, Hanyang University to 333rd, Ewha Womans University to 395th, Kyunghee University to 409th, and Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology to 429th.
Only three universities climbed up, with Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) rising from 178th to 140th, Yonsei from 175th to 149th, and Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology from 319th to 290th.
Korea held on to its ninth place in the country rankings despite a 79.63-point drop from last year, after the U.S., China, Germany, the U.K., Japan, France, and Switzerland.
But Korea's score has been on a downward spiral since 2013.
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