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September 8, 2008 | by  | in News |
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NZ universities best bang for your buck

Recently released international rankings have placed New Zealand second when comparing its population figures with the number of its universities included in the top 500 universities in the world, with only Sweden producing more top universities per head of population.

Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s annual list of the top 500 universities in the world include five New Zealand entries – Auckland, Otago, Canterbury, Massey and Victoria Universities.

According to The Press, New Zealand’s percentage of global gross domestic product (GDP) – 0.2 per cent – makes it “the best at getting value for money.”

According to the statistics, New Zealand produces 25 top tertiary education institutions per one per cent of global GDP, while Britain and the United States produce 8.57 and 5.5 per cents, respectively.

Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) network director David Nicholson described the latest rankings as “a strong indicator of good work occurring across New Zealand’s universities in both teaching and research.” “The Government is committed to ensuring that New Zealand has a university sector that is internationally recognised and that supports the country’s economic transformation and social and cultural development,” he said.

New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations co-president Paul Falloon used the rankings to call for more funding from the government.

“The long-term worry is whether it’s sustainable. With staff being paid more overseas and more heading offshore, it’s not a good thing,” he said.

However, he added: “It’s pretty good to know that, just like Olympic medals, we are able to punch above our weight.

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