One Australian university is among the world’s top 20 universities and five are in the top 50, according to a major global ranking that shows Australian universities have made overall improvements in all measures, including teaching, employability and research.
The University of Sydney was the only Australian university to drop down the list, slipping four places from 46, while six of Australia’s top universities improved in their rank from last year.
Australian National University is the highest ranked in the country at 20th place in the 2018 QS World University Rankings.
It is followed by the University of Melbourne, ranked at 41, the University of New South Wales at 45, the University of Queensland at 47 and the University of Sydney at 50.
Monash University, with a rank of 60, and the University of Western Australia at 93 round out the seven Australian universities in the top 100.
Belinda Robinson, chief executive of peak sector body Universities Australia, said the ranking is especially important to international students choosing a university.
“Global rankings are a major factor for many international students in deciding where to study, so they’re also very important to the $22.4 billion a year that international students bring into Australia’s economy,” Ms Robinson said.
“These impressive rises underscore the global competitiveness of Australia’s universities and the excellent quality of our education and research on the world stage.”
QS World University Rankings 2018: Australia’s Top 10. Photo: topuniversities.com
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the top ranked university in the world for the sixth consecutive year, followed by Stanford University, Harvard University, the California Institute of Technology, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, University College London, Imperial College London, the University of Chicago and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
MIT has been described as “the nucleus of an unrivalled innovation ecosystem” by QS Quacquarelli Symonds, the education analysis firm behind the ranking, which notes that companies created by the university’s alumni have a combined revenue of $2 trillion, the equivalent of the world’s 11th largest economy.
Despite the ongoing dominance of US and UK universities in the top 10, QS Quacquarelli Symonds also notes that many other universities from those countries are now being outperformed by “the best of Australia, Russia, China, Singapore and India – among others”.
QS World University Rankings 2018: The Top 10. Photo: topuniversities.com
Research director at QS Quacquarelli Symonds, Ben Sowter, said the improved ranking of Australian universities can be partially attributed to the changing political climate in countries such as the US and UK increasing Australia’s comparative popularity.
“Higher internationalisation scores certainly reflect coherent international outreach efforts made by university marketing departments,” Mr Sowter said. “However, they also reflect the increased desirability of Australian higher education in the light of current political situations in the United States and United Kingdom – typically Australia’s main Anglosphere competitors.
“Improvements in scores for Academic Reputation can be attributed to both the type of teaching innovations … and the standard of research emanating from Australia’s universities.”
A total of 37 Australian universities are included in this year’s ranking, which covers 959 universities around the world and measures performance in research, teaching, employability and internationalisation.
An institution’s rank is determined by its academic and employer reputations, student-to-faculty ratio, citations per faculty, and international faculty and student ratios.