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May 3, 2015 | by  | in News |
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Your lawyers will still be pretty good

Your teeth are going to be great though

Victoria’s law school is clawing back its international rankings, while the law schools at Auckland and Otago have continued to fall.

The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World Universities Rankings by Subject 2015, released last Wednesday, highlight the top 200 universities around the world for 30 popular subjects.

In 2014, Victoria’s law school ranked 49th in the world—a significant drop from 19th globally in 2013. However, the latest round of rankings has Victoria at 45th equal in the world for law.

Other universities have not been able to replicate this success, with University of Auckland dropping to 33rd for law (down from 28th in 2014) and Otago bowing out of the top 50 law schools globally (having ranked 32nd in 2014).

Impressively, Otago became the first New Zealand university to have a subject ranked in the top ten globally, its Dentistry School placing eighth. This was the first time QS had ranked dentistry schools. Meanwhile, Massey University placed fifteenth for Veterinary Science.

English Language and Literature at Victoria has lost out, dropping from 31st in the world in 2014 into an unspecified placing between 50 and 100. Universities ranked between the top 50 and top 100 in a subject are not given a specific number ranking.

Vic is in the top 100 for ten other subjects, including Accounting & Finance, Art and Design, Development Studies, Education, Geography, History, Linguistics, and Psychology. It leads New Zealand universities in Communications and Media Studies, but lags behind Auckland, which leads the country in 31 different subjects.

“Our results show that we really punch above our weight on the international stage, and reflect the University’s position as New Zealand’s globally ranked capital city,” Victoria’s Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Barrie Macdonald said.

This is in contrast to the university’s comment in 2014, when Professor Rob Rabel, Pro Vice-Chancellor International, called the QS rankings system “volatile” and said that rankings were measured and interpreted in many different ways.

At the time, Rabel said the law school’s dramatic drop in rankings “may be [due to] citation rates, which vary from year to year and depend on when publications come out.”

Universities New Zealand Executive Director Chris Whelan said the overall results of New Zealand universities were outstanding.

“New Zealand’s universities continue to punch above their weight despite competing against some of the biggest and best funded universities in the world,” he said.

QS head of research Ben Sowter described New Zealand institutions as “world-class”, with “high-impact research and [an] outstanding reputation among an industry-leading sample of global academic experts and graduate employers.”

QS subject rankings are determined by academic reputation, citations per faculty, and the h-index, which measures the productivity and impact of the published work of academics.

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