New Zealand universities excel in QS rankings

Education New Zealand (ENZ) welcomed results of the 2016 QS World University Rankings on September 7 which revealed all eight of the country’s universities are ranked in the top 500 worldwide. Six of New Zealand’s eight universities improved their rankings while the other two largely maintained their rankings.

The QS Rankings considers 3,800 institutions worldwide and ranks the top 916. New Zealand is the only country in the world to have all of its universities ranked within the top 500. Auckland University was ranked New Zealand’s highest at 81st, moving up one position from its 2015 ranking. The University of Otago (from 173rd to 169th), University of Waikato (338th to 324th) and Lincoln University (373rd to 343rd) all made significant gains in their rankings.

The largest improvement was seen by Auckland University of Technology (AUT) which moved from the 481-490 category in 2015 to its current ranking of 447. University of Canterbury and Massey University maintained their relative positions coming in at 214th and 340th respectively.

Ben Burrowes, Regional Communications and Strategic Relations Manager for ENZ in Southeast Asia, said the exceptional rankings further strengthen New Zealand’s reputation as a world-class education destination.

“Having all eight of our universities featured globally in the top 500 demonstrates the high-quality education that we offer. Both local and international students who choose to study in New Zealand can be assured a world class education,” Burrowes said.

Research and development was an area the New Zealand universities did especially well in, reflecting the strong Government investments in education funding. The New Zealand Government has demonstrated its continuing commitment to universities by increasing funding for the sector by 24 per cent since 2008.

Recently, the government also announced NZ$761 million in new funding for the Innovative New Zealand package of science, tertiary and regional development initiatives in Budget 2016, with much of it flowing into the university sector.

“These initiatives will help universities in New Zealand remain competitive globally by attracting the best academic teachers and researchers who can contribute to a more robust education rigour. Such investments also give our students access to world-class researchers and facilities,” Burrowes said.

The QS Rankings consider academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty to student ratio, citations per faculty, international faculty and international students.

More information about the rankings, please visit

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