UQ still leading rankings

4 May 2016

The University of Queensland continues to perform highly across a range of markers, recently topping the Nature Index as Australia's highest-ranking institution, leading universities nationally in two subject areas in the QS World University Rankings by Subject, and receiving the largest share of all Australian universities in the latest round of Australian Research Council (ARC) grants.

Out of the pool of $163 million available in the latest ARC funding round, UQ received $24.5 million in the competitive government grant scheme, This amounted to more than all grants received in Western Australia, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory combined.

This funding has been allocated to a range of programmes, projects and fellowships, including the Industrial Transformational Research Programme, which will establish two research hubs and a training centre for a total of $8.7 million.

$9.9 million from the Linkage Projects scheme will go towards 29 research projects across UQ, and two new ARC Australian Laureate Fellowships were awarded to leading biomaterials researcher Professor Alan Rowan, and to Professor Paul Burn, whose work is shaping global efforts in organic light-emitting technology. 

Further strengthening its global reputation as a top-tier research organisation, UQ has topped Australian universities in the Nature Index rankings for the second year.

The index rates institutions and countries according to the number and quality of research publications across 68 of the world’s leading science journals, including journals within and outside the Nature publishing group.

UQ has retained its spot as Australia’s highest-ranking university in the Nature’s top academic institutions and top institutions tables.

The index ranks UQ at 89 among the world’s top academic institutions, and at 27 in the Asia-Pacific.

Harvard University ranks as the leading academic institution worldwide, followed by Stanford University.

The rankings are based on the “weighted fractional count”, considered the most indicative of various measures that Nature Index publishes.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj AC said UQ continued its formidable performance in the life sciences – in fields including biology, microbiology, neuroscience, genetics, medicine and biotechnology.  

“The index records that in 2015 the majority of UQ publications included in the Nature Index were the Life Sciences, followed by Chemistry, the Physical Sciences and then Earth and Environmental Sciences,” Professor Høj said.

He said the rankings highlighted the importance of collaboration between researchers and institutions.

“The vast majority of UQ’s research is co-published with other organisations, giving our researchers collaboration opportunities with many of the highest-ranked experts in the world.

“Equally, the world has access to UQ’s finest minds in the many areas where we have leading expertise.

“In this way, diverse knowledge and perspectives are brought to bear on problems we are tackling to create change to build a better world.”

The QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016 also highlighted the University’s formidable position both locally and internationally. The rankings revealed UQ as number one in Australia in two subject areas and among the world’s top 20 in four.

UQ leads Australian universities in Mineral Resources and Mining Engineering (10th globally) and Environmental Science (12th globally), and globally ranks 17th in Agriculture and Forestry and 18th in Education.

UQ’s other QS global top-30 subjects are: Psychology (21), Development Studies (23), Chemical Engineering (25), Communications and Media Studies (25), Accounting and Finance (26), Veterinary Science (29) and Nursing (30).

This year QS evaluated 4226 universities in more than 60 countries, and assessed 42 subject areas, with 37 UQ subject areas featuring in the top 100.

QS World University Rankings by Subject has been published annually since 2011 and highlights the world’s leading institutions in individual subject areas.

Professor Høj said it was gratifying that UQ had high-ranking QS subjects across the wide span of the University’s endeavour. 

“UQ’s quality teaching and research takes place across a comprehensive range of top-rated disciplines, with an enviable breadth not enjoyed by all universities,” he said.

“This interdisciplinary strength is a great asset to UQ researchers and students.”

Professor Høj said the QS subject data reflected UQ’s position among the world’s top 50 universities, as ranked in the QS World University Rankings, the Nature Index, and the Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities, and within the top 100 in another five key independent rankings.