Rankings deliver a cold shower

The University of Newcastle has slipped for the third consecutive year in the prestigious Times Higher Education global rankings.

The university is now ranked in the 301 to 350 band after falling out of the 251 to 300 band. In 217 the institution sat in the 201-250 band.

Victoria University and La Trobe University are the other Australian universities that sit in the same band.

Macquarie University and the University of Wollongong are ranked in the 201-250 band while Western Sydney University was ranked in the 351 to 400 band.

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
276-300 276-300 251-275 251-275 251-300 201-250 251-300 301-350

The overall rankings reflect the number of students at a university, student to staff ratios, male to female ratios and the number of international students.

They also take into account teaching, research, citations, industry incomes and proportion of international students.

The University of Newcastle was among a number of Australian universities that lost ground in this year’s rankings. The rankings’ authors warned that Australia’s tertiary institutions faced being overtaken unless there was more investment in universities and research facilities.

A University of Newcastle spokeswoman said the Times Higher Education World University Rankings was one of many benchmarks of sector and institutional performance.

“Just a few months ago, for example, we were placed 214 in the QS World University Rankings – up 10 places since last year, and an impressive 84 places since 2014,” she said.

She fluctuations in performance were to be expected from year to year.

“In this year’s Times Higher Education rankings, our relative performance across Teaching, Research and Citations is generally stable, and we’ve performed particularly well in the Industry Engagement and International Outlook categories, outperforming the likes of Harvard University. This is demonstrable of our concerted efforts to collaborate with, and contribute to, our local and international communities,” she said.

“In a highly competitive sector with more than 10,000 universities worldwide, for the University of Newcastle to be ranked as one of the top 350 globally is indicative of the world-class research and teaching that we deliver daily.”

The Herald reported this week that the University of Newcastle has gained top marks in two categories in the 2019 Good Universities Guide. The Guide placed Newcastle in the top twenty per cent of Australian universities for overall student experience and social equity.

More than a quarter of the university’s undergraduate students were from disadvantaged backgrounds, earning it a fourth place in the guide’s ‘social equity’ ranking in Australia, first in NSW.

The University of Melbourne remains Australia’s highest-placed university at equal 32nd, according to the 2019 world university rankings, released on Wednesday. It was followed by the Australian National University, which slipped one spot to 49th.

The University of Sydney (59th), The University of Queensland (69th), Monash University (84th) and the University of New South Wales (96th) round out the list of Australian universities in the top 100.


This article originally appeared in the Newcastle Herald – Rankings deliver a cold shower for University of Newcastle

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