SOME NEW BIG IMPROVERS – CHARLES DARWIN NOW IN TOP 10!

The following data and insights are based on the scored components of the 2015-16 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Following last week’s high level summary of the major changes for Australian university rankings, below is a table of the actual rankings (rather than bands) for each Australian university in the top 800 and prior year places (relative to the Australian sector).  Since the performance data behind the rankings was made public we can better understand and explore key performance areas for Australian universities.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Very little change in top 10
  • Charles Darwin University is another strong improver on the back or strong citations results – moving from 19 in 2013-14 to a top 10 result in 2015-16 (see previous entry on other big improvers UTS and UTAS)
  • Joining the top 20 for the first time are big improvers:  JCU, Flinders, Griffith and La Trobe
  • Australia performs well above peers in Internationalisation with scores averaging 30 points higher than total ranking average.
  • Australia’s weakest performing area is Teaching.
TABLE 1: ACTUAL RANKING FOR AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITIES
THES

INSIGHTS:

  1. Internationalisation

ALL Australian universities score significantly higher than average for Internationalisation.  Australian universities average 78.1 compared with 48.5 for the top 800 ranked universities.

This component is based on international to domestic student and staff ratios and on number of publications with an international co-author.

Internationalisation is only weighted 7.5% of the overall score, however this measure of our performance is at least partly responsible for so many Australian universities making the list.

CHART 1: TOP 10 INTERNATIONALISATION

internationalisation

2. Citations

Citations performance now references the Elsevier Scopus database rather than Thomson Reuters. This means a lot more citations for Australian universities due to the inclusion of arts,  humanities and social science publications (in addition to traditional sciences).

Most Australian universities moved up in this important score which accounts for 30% of final result and is scaled to number of academic staff.

University of Western Australia and Charles Darwin each improved their 2014/15 score by 21 points out of a possible 100 explaining their big upward moves.

Other than the Go8, the top performers in Citations are Flinders University, University of Tasmania, University of Newcastle, UTS, Deakin and Griffith, all at least 15 points above the average (and median) of the top 800 ranked universities.

CHART 2: ALL AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITIES’ CITATION SCORES

citations

  1. Teaching and Research

Teaching and Research account for 60% of the overall THE ranking.  There were no surprises for Australian universities in either category.  However, while we consistently outperform the sector in Research (strongly correlated to citations performance as per above), we underperform in Teaching.  Even the Go8 underperform when compared with the Top 200: they average 46.9 compared with the Top 200 average of 50.2.

CHART 3: ALL AUSTRALIAN UNIVERSITIES’ TEACHING SCORES

teachingandresearch

Half of the total score for Teaching (and more than half of the total score for Research) is based on a academic qualitative survey about reputation*.  Therefore, we could conclude that while Australian universities perform as well or better than other countries in Research and Internationalisation, we are yet to achieve a great reputation for teaching among peers.

Kylie Colvin, Executive Director, Practice Lead – Planning and Analytics

*Other teaching components are Staff-to-student ratio, doctorate to bachelor ratio, academic staff with doctorates and institutional income. Together these add to 50% of the teaching score or 15% of the overall rankings score.