Media contact

Julia Jones
UNSW External Communications
0431 194 656

For the third year in a row, UNSW Sydney has the most subjects ranked first in the nation in the ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2020 released today.

Globally, UNSW and the University of British Columbia had the highest number of subjects included on the list with 52 out of 54. For breadth of quality research worldwide, UNSW has placed first or equal first for the fourth consecutive year.

The University had 12 subjects ranked first in Australia: six from engineering, four from social sciences, and two from the natural sciences. Overall, UNSW had 20 subjects ranked in the top 50 globally, including two in the top 10. The 2020 edition ranked more than 4000 universities globally.

UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Professor Nicholas Fisk applauded the sterling achievements of the UNSW community, and in particular the strong international standing of its academics.

“This extraordinary result solidifies UNSW’s enviable position as being right up there among the world’s most comprehensive research-intensive institutions – our footprint unashamedly covers the breadth of STEM and HASS research areas,” said Professor Fisk.

“Research will be crucial to the global recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. Business, humanities, social sciences, medical and STEM fields will all play substantive roles in underpinning that recovery.”

The list of UNSW subjects ranked first in Australia includes:

  • Water Resources (global ranking 5)
  • Civil Engineering (8)
  • Library & Information Science (12)
  • Remote Sensing (13)
  • Finance (24)
  • Aerospace Engineering (33)
  • Psychology (34)
  • Atmospheric Science (34)
  • Mechanical Engineering (35)
  • Instruments Science & Technology (49)
  • Management (56)
  • Mathematics (108)

Published annually since 2009, the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) subject rankings is released by the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy. The 2020 edition is based on the number of papers published in Q1 journals by Journal Impact Factor (JIF) during the period of 2014 to 2018, citation impact, papers in top journals/conferences, international collaboration, and academic recognitions and awards.

Universities from the United States topped 31 subjects, while Chinese universities led 11 subjects. The best performing institution in the world continued to be Harvard, taking 14 crowns, ShanghaiRanking said in a statement. View the detailed methodology and full results.