The following data and insights are based on high-level summary of the 2015-16 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Expanded insights will be published in the next 24 hours allowing a deeper analysis of component metrics.
Key highlights from this latest data are:
- Congratulations to UTS for cementing their 9th Australian place position from last year and for improving their overall world ranking.
- University of Tasmania has re-entered the rankings, and now occupies a place in the top 251-300 a region previously occupied by Macquarie (261-world and 9-Australia in 2013-14 now 301-350 and 18-19). UTAS leap-frogged 8 contenders from last year’s ranking to achieve a top 17 position among Australian unis (tomorrow’s results will provide actual position).
- Comparing our universities to the rest of the world, the Top 9 all improved their positions with the exception of ANU which moved from 45th to just outside the top 50 at 52nd in the world.
- The top 12 Australian universities have not moved relative to each other.
- Melbourne held on to their number 1 position in Australia remaining the 33rd world ranked.
- New entrants Flinders, Griffith and James Cook brushed past Macquarie and Murdoch in their rise to the top 17.
- The Scopus database has not been as kind to Curtin as the new Thomson Highly Cited database was earlier this year.
- Curtin and Murdoch moved out of the Australian top 20 and Tasmania moved in. This resulted in a decrease from 20 to 19 Australian universities in the top 400.
- With 31 universities ranked out of a possible 43 (public and private), the inclusive 800 list may say more about our universities without a ranking.
It’s important to note the key changes in methodology this year including:
- The ranking list has been expanded from 400 to 800 universities. Australia now has 31 universities in the top 800, compared with 20 in the top 400 last year.
- New (THES in-house) academic peer reviewed survey methodology now has a broader reach to non-English speaking regions and academics. This is an attempt to correct for US-centric survey results. Unsurprisingly, the new survey appears to have had little impact on the upper rankings but may explain some of the volatility in lower ranked universities.
- Usage of Elsevier Scopus database of research publications rather than Thomson Reuters with a much broader range of both non-English speaking and arts and humanities publications. This is likely to be the other main cause of volatility in the lower ranked universities.