On 16th September 2014 the QS Group published the 10th edition of their annual QS World University Rankings. The Australian National University was ranked 25th in the world, moving up two places from its 2013 ranking. The ANU retained its spot as 1st in the country, followed by The University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney, The University of Queensland and UNSW at fifth place.

Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Margaret Harding, announced this achievement through e-mail at 11am of the same day. She congratulates students and staff for the outstanding result and goes on to say that “it is the energy and quality of ANU staff and students that is reflected in our international reputation for excellence.” She mentions that worldwide university rankings tend to be imperfect measures, but that in the very least they “tell you the company you are keeping.”

The methodology used by QS Group in compiling their ranking is divided six fold in the following manner:

Table 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet the QS ranking was not the only ranking to be released recently, as on the 20th August the 2014 edition of the Academic Ranking of World Universities (colloquially known as the Shanghai Ranking) was released. The ANU was ranked 74th in the world, a drop of eight places from the previous year. The University of Melbourne climbed 10 places from 54th in 2013 to 44th in 2014, setting the record as the first Australian university to be ranked within the top 50 of the Shanghai Ranking. At a national level, The University of Melbourne was ranked 1st in the country, followed by the ANU, the University of Queensland and The University of Western Australia.

The methodology used in compiling the Shanghai Ranking is divided as follows:

Table 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woroni published a piece on 24th July 2014 regarding the ANU’s drop in the ranking published by the Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR). According to an explanatory paper of the CWUR’s methodology, the subjectivity of student surveys is one of the main drawbacks of other university rankings such as QS and Times. The Shanghai Ranking is the only other major publication that does not use student surveys, but CWUR identifies that instead Shanghai places excessive weight on research-based indicators without properly assessing the quality of education and training of students.

The next major ranking this year will be the 2014 edition of the World University Rankings by Times Higher Education, set for publication on 2nd October 2014.