UNSW Library Lawn

The ERA results, published today by the Australian Research Council, benchmark the country’s university research against international standards. The 'State of Australian University Research 2018-19' report assessed performance across broad fields and specific subject areas.

Highlights for FASS include:

  • The broad subject areas of Education and Studies in Human Society have obtained the highest rating of five, indicating research that is “well above world standard”. Two other universities obtained the same result for studies in Human Society.
  • In specific subject areas, Studies in Creative Arts and Writing maintained a rating of five, the only Australian university to be rated a five within this field of research.
  • Criminology obtained a rating of four, up from a three in 2016.
  • Specialist Studies in Education and Performing Arts and Creative Writing moved from a four to a top rating of five.

In total, 13 out of 18 Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences subjects were rated at, or above, world standard rating at 72.2% overall rating.

“This is an exceptional result for UNSW that showcases the world-class research environment at UNSW,” said Professor Nicholas Fisk, UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research.

“I want to congratulate our researchers for continuing the University’s steep growth in research performance that is outpacing goals set out in our ambitious 2025 Strategy. The ERA results support the University’s strategic approach to raising its research profile so that in the future, even more research is recognised as world-leading.”

The 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) report showcased outstanding results for UNSW and the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. UNSW research is regarded as among the best in the world and as of 2018, is the highest rated University in Australia obtaining an average score of 4.8 across the board.

Across broad fields, UNSW had the best result of any university in Australia, obtaining more top ratings of five for “outstanding performance well above world standard” than any other university with 17. Next was ANU with 15 and University of Melbourne with 14.

The UNSW broad fields obtaining a rating of five include: Mathematical Sciences; Physical Sciences; Chemical Sciences; Earth Sciences; Environmental Sciences; Biological Sciences; Information and Computing Sciences; Engineering; Technology; Medical and Health Sciences; Education; Economics; Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services; Studies in Human Society; and Psychology and Cognitive Sciences; Law and Legal Studies. UNSW is again the only university to score a top rating of five in the broad field of Studies in Creative Arts and Writing.

The broad fields that received a rating of four are: Built Environment and Design; Language, Communication and Culture; History and Archaeology; and Philosophy and Religious Studies.

When broken down by subject, UNSW had 81 subjects rated above or well above world standard, up from 65 in the previous report published in 2015. Of those, 57 subjects received a rating of five, the highest number among universities in NSW and second among Go8 institutions after the University of Melbourne.

UNSW was the only university to earn a rating of five in three specialised areas: Food Sciences; Film, Television and Digital Media; and Performing Arts and Creative Writing.

“UNSW’s outstanding results in the 2018 ERA analysis exemplify the University’s commitment to producing world-class research across all fields of academia,” said UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Ian Jacobs. “Our researchers have excelled in all areas – from medicine and STEM subjects to the humanities and arts – propelling UNSW to among the best research universities in the world.”

The ERA results benchmark the country’s university research against international standards. ERA results are based on a range of factors including publications and citations, expert review and international benchmarks.

View the full report via the ARC website.