UQ leaps up list of world’s best universities

15 August 2016

The University of Queensland has rocketed up the prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities, to rank 55th globally and second in Australia.

In the University’s best result since the annual ranking began in 2003, UQ this year leaps 22 places - up from 77 - after it jumped last year from 85.

The result means the university has climbed a stunning 35 places – from 90 in 2012 to 55 this year – in arguably the most recognised ranking of the world’s more than 10,000 universities.

The news comes on the back of UQ’s top-50 placings in other global rankings.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said today’s achievement reflected UQ’s decades of hard work and focus on research excellence.

“This speaks volumes about the very high quality of our researchers and alumni,” Professor Høj said.

“It’s so heartening to receive independent, objective confirmation of the effectiveness of UQ’s targeted strategies to hold and improve our place among the world’s best universities.

“Against especially strong and increasing global competition, it’s reaffirming that six Australian universities made it in to the ARWU top 100 this year, compared to four last year.

“It’s an incredible achievement, given the domestic policy difficulties the Australian higher education sector has faced for a very long period.”

Professor Høj said higher education remained an $18 billion education export industry for Australia, and this market share was being sustained on less resourcing in real terms each year.

“Countries such as China benefit from massive and strategic investments in higher education and research,” he said.

Professor Høj said rankings systems such as ARWU were vitally important in attracting international students, who often factored in global standing when choosing a university.

The Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University has published the ARWU annually since 2003, using objective indicators including:

• number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields medals
• number of highly cited researchers selected by Thomson Scientific
• number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science 
• number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index - Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index
• per capita performance with respect to the size of an institution.

Professor Høj said UQ students at all levels of study benefited from the University’s research culture and these results add extra weight to the outstanding global credentials they will possess as UQ graduates.

“Students immersed in a research-inspired culture value the application of excellence to solve problems, and have greater confidence to tackle complex and unexpected challenges,” he said.

Media: Fiona Cameron, UQ Communications, f.cameron2@uq.edu.au or 07 3365 1120