UNSW has climbed nine places to 65th in ShanghaiRanking’s latest Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). The University continues on a strong trajectory since the inception of its 2025 Strategy designed to accelerate the quality and impact of its research in areas critical to Australia’s success. UNSW has risen 69 places from 134th in 2016 to 65th in 2021.

Published annually by the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, the ARWU scrutinises more than 2000 institutions and ranks the top 1000 universities from around the world.

UNSW has performed strongly year-on-year, from 134th in 2016 to 65th in 2021. Last year UNSW leapt an unprecedented 20 places to 74th, after moving into the top 100 for the first time in 2019.

UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs congratulated the UNSW community on an outstanding result.

“Despite the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to advance our 2025 Strategy and make significant strides towards our goal of being among the world’s top 50 universities by 2025,” Professor Jacobs said.

“This consistent progress reflects the talent, hard work and collaborative approach of our academic community and a determination to deliver on the ambitious research quality objectives of our 2025 Strategy. UNSW’s impressive result highlights our efforts to support world-class research and researchers.”

UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research & Enterprise, Professor Nicholas Fisk, said UNSW’s improved performance across all the quality and quantity publication indicators was a strong endorsement of the University’s Research Excellence strategy and investment in world-class research.

“We are proud to have so many world-leading researchers putting Australia on the map and making a difference in pivotal issues such as COVID-19, renewable energy, quantum computing and climate change,” Professor Fisk said.

“UNSW’s increased contribution to articles published in the leading journals Nature and Science accounted for nearly half our rise this year, followed closely by the increasing number of UNSW academics on the prestigious Highly Cited Researchers list – distinguished scholars at the very top of their fields making highly influential contributions to key global issues.”

Noting that ARWU favours older established universities, Professor Fisk said, “UNSW’s excellent result this year was all the more remarkable, given that we, like most younger institutions, score zero in the 30 per cent of ARWU based on Nobel prizes.”

Predominantly based on research performance, the ARWU rankings assess the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, articles published in the journals Nature and Science, the number of highly cited researchers and number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index – Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance with respect to the size of an institution.

UNSW continued to perform well in the 2020 Clarivate Analytics list of Highly Cited Researchers, with 31 academics featured. The results placed UNSW 25th among universities globally.

Australia now has 24 universities listed in ARWU’s top 500.

American universities continue to dominate the league table, with Harvard University ranking first for the 19th year.

Read the details and methodology.