Global university rankings: one Australian university makes the top 20
The good performance of ANU is no big surprise. It is Australia's most lavishly funded Uni. It basically can afford any faculty members it wants. Still, Australia is a small community on the world stage so to rank so highly out of thousands of universities worldwide is a considerable achievement
It may be worth noting what the QS rankings are based on. They are reputational rankings. They tell us how highly a university is thought of. That is important information but rankings of academic output are possibly more important. The Leiden ranking is notable for the latter. Several Australian universities get into the top 50 according to Leiden but the ANU is not among them. It is way down at 191. That does suggest the the high reputation of the ANU might not be fully deserved
By contrast, the fact that University of Sydney, University of Melbourne and University of Queensland score highly in both sets of rankings is persuasive. It indicates a deserved high reputation for them. As I am a graduate of two of those three I am pleased about that. I think it is clear that the teaching there is world-class
One Australian university is among the world's top 20
universities and five are in the top 50, according to a major global ranking that shows Australian universities have made overall improvements in all measures, including teaching, employability and research.
The University of Sydney was the only Australian university to drop down the list, slipping four places from 46, while six of Australia's top universities improved in their rank from last year.
Australian National University is the highest ranked in the country at 20th place in the 2018 QS World University Rankings.
It is followed by the University of Melbourne, ranked at 41, the University of New South Wales at 45, the University of Queensland at 47 and the University of Sydney at 50.
Belinda Robinson, chief executive of peak sector body Universities Australia, said the ranking is especially important to international students choosing a university.
"Global rankings are a major factor for many international students in deciding where to study, so they're also very important to the $22.4 billion a year that international students bring into Australia's economy," Ms Robinson said.
"These impressive rises underscore the global competitiveness of Australia's universities and the excellent quality of our education and research on the world stage."
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the top ranked university in the world for the sixth consecutive year, followed by Stanford University, Harvard University, the California Institute of Technology, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, University College London, Imperial College London, the University of Chicago and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
MIT has been described as "the nucleus of an unrivalled innovation ecosystem" by QS Quacquarelli Symonds, the education analysis firm behind the ranking, which notes that companies created by the university's alumni have a combined revenue of $2 trillion, the equivalent of the world's 11th largest economy.
Despite the ongoing dominance of US and UK universities in the top 10, QS Quacquarelli Symonds also notes that many other universities from those countries are now being outperformed by "the best of Australia, Russia, China, Singapore and India – among others".