Latest rankings reinforce Go8 lead

Uni Melbourne is Australia’s number one in the 2023 Academic Ranking of World Universities – 35th in the world, effectively stable on last year’s 32.

The rest of the Australian top ten are also in a similar position to last year, with marginal movements down but overall demonstrating the unchanging dominance of the research-resources-rich Group of Eight.

ARWU is mainly driven by citations, and can reflect researcher recruitment strategies, which rankings expert Angel Calderon (RMIT) has long argued is not a sustainable way to drive research performance. 

“This is a ranking which has an inherited bias in that it is all about measuring prestige on a narrow methodology, “ he argues. 

This year’s edition affirms the power of China – with four universities in the top 50 (three last year) and 11 in the first 100 (eight in ’22).

The global top 20 is the usual Anglosphere – 16 US universities (Harvard first in the world) plus the UK’s Cambridge (four), Oxford (seven), plus Paris-Saclay (15) and ETH Zurich (20). 

The Australian universities following the University of Melbourne in this year’s rankings are,

  • Uni Queensland: 50 (47 in ’22)
  • UNSW: 71 (64)
  • Uni Sydney: 72 (60)
  • Monash U: 76 (75)
  • ANU: 83 (79)
  • UWA: 99 (99)
  • Uni Adelaide: 151-200 (101-150)

The next group is a band back, 201-300 

  • Curtin U
  • Deakin U
  • Macquarie U
  • Swinburne U
  • Uni Tasmania
  • UTS
  • Uni Wollongong 

Curtin U, Deakin U, Macquarie U, Swinburne, UTS and Uni Wollongong have now been in the 201-300 band for three years straight.

Overall, there are 24 Australian institutions in the world top 500 – same as in 2022 and 2021. 

In contrast, Canada’s number one (Uni Toronto) is 24, with a total five in the global first 100  and 18 in the top 500.

UNSW was quick to announce its national third place. Although it is down a few places on 2022 (64) and 2021 (65), it has consolidated its lift from 2018 when it was in the 101-150 band.  It is also close-ish to previous VC Ian Jacobs’ ten-year objective, for UNSW to be a global top 50 research university by 2025 (Campus Morning Mail, August 18 2015).



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