Decoding Australia’s Top Universities: QS World Rankings 2019

London: Nearly three-quarters of Australia’s globally-ranked universities are improving their international research impact, according to the world’s most-consulted international university ranking.

The fifteenth edition of the QS World University Rankings, released recently by global higher education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds, sees 26 of Australia’s 37 featured institutions score more highly for QS’s research impact indicator (Citations per Faculty).

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology is named the world’s leading university for a record-breaking seventh consecutive year, while Australian National University (24th, down from 20th) remains Australia’s best. QS are providing students, policymakers, and academia with data on 1,000 institutions from 85 countries, and their flagship site, www.TopUniversities.com, was visited nearly 60 million times in 2017.

Australian Performance: Key Points



  • Australia retains five of the world’s top 50 universities (see Table 1), more than all nations except the United States (19) and the United Kingdom (8).
  • Though overall Australian performance is mixed, the system sees more universities rise (15 up) than fall (12 down). Ten remain stable.
  • Most of Australia’s improvements are experienced by its leading institutions, with nine of the fifteen highest-ranked universities rising.
  • Relative to global competitors, a number of Australian institutions are internationalizing successfully. 24 of 37 improve their performance in the International Student Ratio indicator, with 13 dropping.
  • Preventing further overall improvements are Australian results in QS’s Academic Reputation and Faculty/Student Ratio (FSR) The first measures the global academic recognition enjoyed by an institution, while the second measures the extent to which students might expect meaningful interaction with faculty.
  • The Faculty/Student Ratio indicator is the most severe for Australian institutions. 34 of 37 see their relative rank for FSR drop, with only three improving.

However, 25 of 37 also see their results for Academic Reputation decline, reflecting the improving repute – and academic standards – at institutions around the world.

QS World University Rankings 2019: Australian Overview
2019 2018 Institution Name
  24   20 Australian National University (ANU)
  39   41= The University of Melbourne
  42   50 The University of Sydney
  45   45 The University of New South Wales (UNSW)
  48   47= The University of Queensland (UQ)
  59=   60 Monash University
  91   93= The University of Western Australia (UWA)
  114   109= The University of Adelaide
  160=   176 University of Technology Sydney (UTS)
  214=   224= University of Newcastle
  218=   232 University of Wollongong
  244=   247= Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
  250=   262 Curtin University
  250=   240= Macquarie University
  250=   247= RMIT University
  264=   279= University of South Australia (UniSA)
  287   313 University of Tasmania
  309   293= Deakin University
  329=   325= Griffith University
  369=   367= James Cook University (JCU)
Source:  QS Quacquarelli Symonds 2004-2018 https://www.topuniversities.com/. All rights reserved.

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