UNSW rockets up the Times Higher Education World University Rankings

UNSW Sydney continues its steady progress towards its goal of becoming a top 50 global university, rising 25 places to 71st in the THE World University Rankings. 

UNSW campus and students

Photo: Anna Kucera

UNSW has jumped 25 spots to 71st in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings released today.

The rise in the 2020 THE ranking means UNSW will finish the year ranked 69th based on the average across three main global league tables.

UNSW benchmarks itself on three rankings – the THE, the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU, 94th) and the QS World University Rankings (43rd).

This aggregate will see UNSW break into the world’s top 70 universities for the first time.

UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs said research and teaching excellence was a key factor in UNSW’s improved performance.

“Our unprecedented rise of 25 places in the THE rankings is an important moment for UNSW. It reflects our progress across the spectrum of research, education, innovation, equity, thought leadership and global impact, guided by our Strategy 2025,” Professor Jacobs said. “This ranking follows on from our entry for the first time into the top 100 in the ARWU ranking, our rise to 43rd in the QS ranking and our emergence as first in Australia for research quality in the Excellence in Research for Australia report released earlier this year.”

The THE rankings are calculated using 13 performance indicators grouped into five areas: teaching, research, citations, international outlook and industry income. UNSW’s scores rose in every pillar, with the most significant jump in the industry income and teaching pillars. 

THE Editorial Director Phil Baty praised UNSW’s strong, relevant research expertise and commitment to innovation in teaching.

“UNSW’s remarkable rise up the table this year, to its highest ever position, is a fantastic achievement,” said Mr Baty. “When THE hosted its three-day Asia Pacific Research Excellence Summit with UNSW in early 2019, the University’s qualities were plain for all to see: strong, relevant research expertise across multiple areas, including many fields of significance to sustainability, a commitment to innovation in teaching, and a focus on international partnerships, not least in the booming knowledge economies of China and East Asia.”

This year, 1396 institutions were ranked from 92 countries in the THE rankings, including 35 from Australia. UNSW was one of six Australian universities to make the top 100.

Professor Jacobs said: “Thanks to the UNSW community for the outstanding achievements that have led to this recognition. Our success is built upon a commitment to generosity in partnership, utilising our expertise and resources to improve lives as Australia's global university.

“In our 70th year, our students, staff, alumni and supporters can take pride in the progress and trajectory of our University."

Read a complete list of the 2020 THE World University Rankings.

Read UNSW’s 2025 Strategy.