The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings for 2021 have been released and Australian institutions are on the up and up.
Twelve Australian institutions scored a spot in the top 200, an increase from 11 last year. Macquarie University just edged its way in as Australia’s 12th entry after being promoted to 195.
This year, the THE rankings scored more than 1,500 universities across 93 countries and regions on 13 performance indicators in the areas of teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.
Overall metro universities still dominate the Australian rankings:
- University of Melbourne: up from 32 to 31
- University of Sydney: up from 60 to 51
- Australian National University: down from 50 to 59
- The University of Queensland: up from 66 to 62
- Monash University: up from 75 to 64
- UNSW Sydney: up from 71 to 67
- University of Adelaide: up from 120 to 118
- The University of Western Australia: down from 131 to 139
- University of Technology Sydney: up from 196 to 160
- University of Canberra: up from 193 to 184
- Queensland University of Technology: down from 179 to 186
- Macquarie University: up from between 201 to 250 to 195
Perhaps more impressive, however, is Australia’s title as the fourth best-represented country in the top 200, after its considerably larger counterparts the United States (59 institutions in the top 200), United Kingdom (29) and Germany (21).
The new rankings follow the release of the THE Impact Rankings earlier this year, which assessed universities based on their success in delivering the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Australia’s top entry
The University of Melbourne again topped the Australian list, coming in at 31. This is an improvement of one place on its position from last year.
University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell said the result was a “reflection of the outstanding work of all of the university’s academic staff, including those in affiliated institutions”.
“The reputational improvements within the teaching and research pillars, and the improvement in the citations pillar have driven the university’s improved ranking,” he said.
“At the same time, the ranking results are a reminder about the importance of university partnerships with industry, which will be critical as we navigate our way out of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Little change in the top 10
There was little change at the top end of the list, with the University of Oxford taking out the first place for the fifth consecutive year.
Although US universities occupied eight out of the 10 top spots, there was some interesting movement among Asia-Pacific universities.
For example, Chinese universities are closing the gap with the US on citation impact, and some middle-ranking Chinese universities were found to be outperforming similarly ranked US universities. China’s median research income was also higher than that of the US.
THE World University Rankings 2021 top 10:
- University of Oxford, United Kingdom
- Stanford University, United States
- Harvard University, United States
- California Institute of Technology, United States
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
- University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
- University of California, Berkeley, United States
- Yale University, United States
- Princeton University, United States
- University of Chicago, United States