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September 13, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Victoria University Gets Amongst the Best

Ranks fourth in New Zealand, 225th in the world

New Zealand universities are, on the whole, a little worse for wear following the release of the QS World University Rankings for 2010.

Victoria University is the only New Zealand university that improved its ranking from 2009, climbing from 229th to 225th position in the world, and placing fourth in New Zealand.

Auckland University has once again placed as New Zealand’s number one tertiary education provider, coming in at 68th position, seven places lower than its 2009 ranking.

Otago University slipped from 125th to 135th, while Canterbury University slipped one placing to 189th.

University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon believes the slipping rankings of New Zealand universities is due to poor government funding of the tertiary sector, which has also seen universities close enrolments early and increase fees by the maximum four per cent allowance.

“It is inevitable that as long as there is disproportionate spending – money going into student support, such as interest-free loans, and not into staff and facilities – that this trend will continue,” the New Zealand Herald reported.

QS World University Rankings spokesman John Molony said that New Zealand universities were let down by their staff-to-student ratio, which has been improved at other institutions through financial investment in staff.

“While this has largely been offset with a good result in research performance, it does leave New Zealand’s higher education reputation at risk internationally, as institutions and systems around the world increase their investment in academic staff.”

The research is conducted through several categories, including a peer review system, an employer or recruiters review, a faculty to student ratio and citations per faculty.

University of Cambridge, Harvard, and Yale University respectively took out the top three positions in the rankings.

The United States and the United Kingdom appear to be powerhouses in tertiary education, claiming every place in the top 17, as well as many placings in the top 100.

One student spoken to by Salient was disappointed with Victoria’s low global placing.

“Yeah, it’s pretty shit. I reckon all the rankings are pretty representative of where a country sits in the world financially though.

“I’ve always assumed we were better than Canterbury, I’m a bit gutted about that.”

The Ministry of Education has pointed to an alternative ranking that places New Zealand universities in a much better position. According to the 2010 Shanghai Jiao Tong University Annual Ranking of World Universities, based on the country’s share of universities, and once the country’s share of the world economy is taken into account, New Zealand ranked first in the world.

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