The World University Rankings by education consultancy Quacquarelli Symonds were released Tuesday, Xinhua reported.
The university moved up to 24th on the global list. "HKU feels like a British university with large numbers of British faculty who have been there a long time and a more relaxed atmosphere. By contrast, NUS seems to be running faster than others.
My suspicion is that at some point in the next 10 years, NUS will enter the top 20," the Straits Times quoted Ben Sowter, head of research at Quacquarelli Symonds, as saying.
NUS provost Tan Eng Chye said the university was "pleased" with its performance, and that it was a reflection of Singapore's strong support for higher education. On the global list, US universities took seven of the top 10 places.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology maintained its top spot, followed by Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, University College London and Imperial College London.
The rankings were based on six indicators -- academic and employer reputation, student-faculty ratio, citations per faculty, international faculty and student mix.