Local heroes

 Kylie Colvin reports the individual ranking of each Australian university

Local heroes

With Harvard number one, as usual in the 2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities, released this morning, the big news is the rapid rise of the University of Queensland which has moved up from 85th place in 2014 to 74th last year and 55th in this morning’s list. UoQ is now barely ten spots behind the Australian leader, the University of Melbourne, which moved up from 44 to 40th in the world. Monash has also ascended into the stars, moving from the 101-150 band to 79th.

ANU (equal 77th with Pennsylvania State), is unchanged from last year, while the University of Sydney at 82nd is back in the top 100 after two years out and well ahead of its 97th place in 2013. The University of Western Australia is 96th in the world, reversing three years of spots in the high 80s. The universities of Adelaide and NSW remain the only Group of Eight institution outside the world top 100, in the 101-150 band.

Australia now has six universities in the global top 100, two more than last year. Over half the country’s public universities also now make the list of the world’s best 500 research institutions according to the ARWU’s metrics.

Like last year, no other Australian universities made the second 100 but there are six in the 200-300 band; Curtin, Deakin, James Cook, Macquarie, QUT and the University of Tasmania, which moves up from the 300-400 band. QUT looks to have had a spectacular year, rating in the 400-500 group in 2015 to the 200-300 band now. And Deakin has had a decisive result also moving from the 400-500 band to 200-300.

Australian institutions in the 300-400 band are Flinders, Griffith, Newcastle and UTS, Western Sydney U and Wollongong, which has dropped from the 200-300 group. RMIT and Swinburne are in this year’s 400-500.

Friday July 1

NZ winners

Across the ditch, four of New Zealand’s eight universities made the cut, Auckland (151-200), Otago (301-400), Victoria U of Wellington, (301-400) and Canterbury (301-400).

Deakin U a big winner in ARWU

Analysis by Kylie Colvin

The Academic Ranking of World Universities tells a very good story for Australian research. The number of Australian universities in the top 500 increased from 20 in 2015 to 23 this year with the inclusion of La Trobe, Western Sydney U and RMIT in the top 500.

It’s a  great result for Go8 members with UniMelbourne moving up again to 40th in the world, UoQ to 55th and Monash, Sydney and UWA moving into the top 100 universities.

Arguably, however  the best overall result goes to Deakin, moving from 416 to 216 in 2 years and to 11th position in Australia. HECG has been a supporter and admirer of Deakin’s student-centric teaching and support initiatives of recent years. It looks Deakin is proving sceptics wrong, it seems a university can simultaneously improve teaching and research.

QUT also qualifies for a most honourable mention for moving into the top 300 and 14th position in Australia in just two years .

Overall Australia has been a beneficiary of the change in the Highly Cited Researcher database. More than 90% of our improvement has come from this one measure with an average increase in HiCi score of 6 out of 1001.

This is not true for other English speaking countries. The United States lost 9 universities from the rankings (1 from the top 20) and the United Kingdom lost 1 from the top 100. In contrast, China has an amazing result with 10 new universities in the top 500 and two in the top 100 for the first time with Tsinghua University at 58 and Peking University at 71. Singapore has its first entry in the top 100 with the National University at 83.

 Note: Colvin noted some duplicate researchers contained in the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited database.

Kylie Colvin is Executive Director, Lead Planning and Analytics at the Higher Education Consulting Group. She has identified the specific rank (below) of all Australian universities outside the top 1oo by analysing the ARWU‘s data by weightings for each category that make up an institution’s score.

University 2016 Rank 2015 Rank 2014 Rank Change in Rank 2015-16
The University of Melbourne 40 44 44 +4
The University of Queensland 55 77 85 +22
The Australian National University 77 77 74 0
Monash University 79 114 114 +35
University of Sydney 82 117 117 +35
The University of Western Australia 96 88 88 -8
The University of New South Wales 134 125 130 -9
The University of Adelaide 139 170 183 +31
Macquarie University 208 232 237 +24
Curtin University 214 271 302 +57
Deakin University 216 398 412 +182
James Cook University 279 313 302 +34
University of Tasmania 294 306 307 +12
Queensland University of Technology 299 491 +192
Griffith University 318 363 382 +45
Flinders University 318 372 379 +54
University of Wollongong 332 263 329 -69
La Trobe University 336
The University of Newcastle, Australia 352 345 345 -7
University of Technology, Sydney 368 388 +20
Western Sydney University 394
Swinburne University of Technology 425 391 372 -34
RMIT University 488

Global perspective

The ARWU’s list of the world’s top 20 research universities for 2016 is much the same as last year. Harvard is again in top spot from Stanford, U Cal Berkeley, Cambridge, MIT, Princeton, Oxford, Cal Tech, Columbia and the University of Chicago. The US dominates the list with 15 out of 20, the UK has three with University College London joining Oxbridge. The other two are the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and Tokyo University.

The National University of Singapore continues its rise up the rankings, entering the top 100 at 85th.

There are 49 US institutions in the top 100, with the UK following, distantly with eight. Two Chinese universities make the elite cut. Overall 137 US universities are in the first 500 with 41 Chinese universities in the full list.