Strong results in the areas of research quality, employer reputation and international appeal, have helped UNSW Sydney maintain its spot among the world’s top 50 universities in the 2019 QS World University Rankings.

The rankings placed UNSW 45th in the world, the same ranking it held last year, and just behind Australian National University, the University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney. The ranking again positioned UNSW among the top five per cent of the top 1,000 institutions globally.

Professor Ian Jacobs, UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor, said the ranking underscores the University’s commitment to have a global impact through high-quality teaching, cutting-edge research and social engagement.

“This is a good ranking at this stage in the implementation of the UNSW 2025 Strategy,” Jacobs said. “It reflects the quality and the dedication of the UNSW community and our ambition to establish UNSW as Australia’s global university.”    

Since 2014, UNSW has moved up seven places in the prestigious rankings, which are compiled by London-based global education analysts, Quacquarelli Symonds.

Employer reputation was UNSW’s best performing indicator for the second year in a row, placing the University 26th globally. The indicator is based on the views of around 43,000 employers around the world on the institutions providing the best professionals. Next was academic reputation in which UNSW ranked 37th.

The biggest swing over 2017 was in citations per faculty, which jumped 10 spots to 58th globally. The indicator measures the average number of citations obtained per faculty member and is an estimate of the impact and quality of scientific work produced by universities.  

UNSW scored a maximum 100/100 on the QS International Faculty Index, based on its proportion of international faculty members. The University’s international faculty ratio is more than six times the global median. The University’s high score on the measure highlights its attractiveness to overseas staff and aligns with a recent Randstad report that placed UNSW in 7th spot on its list of most attractive places to work in Australia.

UNSW again received high marks for its proportion of international students (97.4/100) and academic reputation (90.4/100). The first index measures how attractive the university is to international students, while the latter evaluated the perceptions of academics around the world regarding the best institutions in terms of research.

The QS Rankings have been published since 2004. This year, 1,011 institutions were ranked, including 37 from Australia. Institutions are evaluated based on academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty student ratio, citations per faculty, international faculty and international students.

US and UK-based universities continued to jostle for the top rankings with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) taking out the top spot in the league table for the seventh straight year.