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University of Adelaide ranked in world’s top 100

UPDATED | A new report places the University of Adelaide firmly in the world’s top 100 with the University of South Australia moving up to 326th spot, ahead of a decision to merge the two institutions expected this weekend.

Jun 28, 2023, updated Jun 28, 2023

The University of Adelaide has been recognised as one of the world’s top 100 universities, with the latest Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings placing the institution at number 89 globally.

It represents a rise of 20 positions up from the 109 last year, and makes the uni one of nine Australian tertiary education providers to rank in the top 100.

The University of South Australia ranked 326 in QS World University Rankings’ 20th edition of its report, up from 363 in 2022, while Flinders University rose from 425 to 380 – the biggest rise among SA institutions.

The top ranked Australian university was the University of Melbourne in 14th position, followed by the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney which tied for the 19th position, Australian National University at 34, Monash University at 42, the University of Queensland at 43, University of Western Australia at 72 and the University of Technology Sydney in the 90th spot – just below the University of Adelaide.

Globally, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was the top ranked institution, followed by the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, Harvard University and Stanford University to round out the top five.

Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Adelaide Professor Peter Høj said the top 100 ranking was a “significant milestone”.

“The University of Adelaide’s position at 89 in the 2024 QS World University Rankings highlights its consistent, positive rankings trajectory and is a significant milestone for our institution,” Høj said.

“The quality and scope of our teaching and research endeavour is being consistently recognised externally in the improvements in our position in rankings, and by our peers, as measured by reputation and citations, and granting bodies and partners through research and industry income.

“We are focussed on creating a stronger future for South Australia. This result, combined with the improvement of other local universities, should give South Australians confidence that we can secure a top 100 university of significant scale for the long term.”

This latest report saw QS “significantly evolve” its ranking methodology, adding weighting toward sustainability, employability and research collaboration outcomes. Employer reputation received a boost in weighting too, while less importance was placed on faculty student ratios and academic reputation, though the latter was still the most important consideration for QS in determining the list.

For the University of Adelaide, the nod from QS follows the institution being named a top 100 tertiary education provider by Times Higher Education Worlds University Rankings at 88th position, US News Best Global Universities at 74, and UNSW Aggregate Ranking of Top Universities in the 90th spot.

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The release of the rankings comes just days before a decision will be announced on the proposed merger of the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia.

Announced in December 2022, the agreement saw the two universities agree to investigate an amalgamation through a business case and feasibility study.

One of the rationales behind the proposed merger – steadfastly supported by Premier Peter Malinauskas – was to create an institution recognised among the world’s top 100 universities on an “ongoing and sustainable basis”.

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Flinders University’s QS ranking dropped. It has been amended to reflect its rise to 380th position. 

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