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March 11, 2019 | by  | in News |
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World University Rankings, How Did VUW Fare?

They say you are judged on your merits rather than your weaknesses. This might be a problem for New Zealand’s universities, with the release of world tertiary rankings this week.

London-based ranking agency Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranked the country’s nine universities alongside those from the rest of the globe.

New Zealand’s university system as a whole tumbled down from 14th place last year, to 18th.

The University of Auckland seems to have been hit the hardest, losing all of its subjects ranked top 20 in the world.

The University of Otago is now the sole New Zealand institution with a top 20-ranked subject, with their School of Physical Education sneaking in at 20th.

VUW only holds two subjects in the top fifty ranking.

According to the QS research director, New Zealand’s sudden plummet is due to our lacklustre “employability” ranking, which has “slightly decreased”.

The ranking drop is detrimental to the universities’ images, as such rankings influence (local and international) students’ enrollment decisions, as well as affecting potential employers.

If employability is our problem, QS may have made things worse.   

VUW has said that “the international competition […] becomes more intense each year as some governments invest more in their university systems than New Zealand does”.

VUW added that they “outperformed the New Zealand university system this year. [With] only 9 of the 73 subjects across New Zealand whose rankings fell.”

With education in the limelight, following teachers’ strikes and polytechnic reforms, students will be interested to see how this latest issue impacts the country, and how the Ministry of Education attempts to resolve it.

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