Australian and New Zealand universities continue to lead 2024 QS World University Rankings

QS Quacquarelli Symonds, the world’s leading provider of services, analytics, and insight to the global higher education sector, has released their World University Rankings 2024. QS has been releasing their World University Rankings since 2004 to provide a credible, research-based, and data-informed tool that can guide students around the globe as they discern which schools are best for them.

Their new list, published in June 2023 in celebration of their 20th anniversary, is reportedly their biggest edition to date. They feature 1,500 institutions, 85 new entrants, and also introduce three new indicators to “reflect the changing priorities of students and the evolving missions of world-class higher education institutions today: a commitment to sustainability; even greater emphasis on supporting graduate employability and increased international research collaboration to solve the world’s biggest challenges.” These changes put less weight on student-to-faculty ratio measures and academic reputation, and put a spotlight on factors that have become more relevant to the evolving global situation. These new metrics have ushered in significant shifts in the rankings, with a handful of institutions jumping or dropping multiple slots.

Australia in the rankings

33 Australian universities have improved their overall positions in the 2024 World University Rankings. Of the top 20 universities in the rankings, three are from Australia. The University of Melbourne bagged the 14th spot on the list, jumping from the 33rd spot – a remarkable feat for any Australian university. This, along with its rankings from Times Higher Education and the Academic Ranking of World Universities, makes it the highest-ranked university in the country. Meanwhile, rival universities the University of New South Wales and the University of Sydney tied for the 19th spot.

Australia received the highest average scores for international faculty and international student ratio, which QS said reflected its status as a top study destination. According to this article from The Sydney Morning Herald, QS Chief Executive Jessica Turner noted that the Australian higher education system had consistently prioritised and pioneered internationalism, saying “[d]espite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Australian institutions are making a remarkable comeback, attracting more students from emerging markets[.]”

New Zealand universities excel in global rankings

Eight universities in New Zealand have climbed the latest rankings, with the University of Auckland maintaining its top position nationally and 68th globally. Waikato University makes a remarkable leap of 81 places from 331 to 250 – the largest improvement in the country. The University of Auckland ranks ninth globally in sustainability, while Otago and Canterbury perform strongly. New Zealand’s commitment to sustainability sets an inspiring example and solidifies its reputation as a top higher education destination.

Why university rankings still matter

There may be some debate about whether university rankings and their equivalents are still relevant in this day and age. While this sort of dialogue exists, we do believe that rankings still provide insightful merit, as long as one knows how to properly use them as an arsenal to make well-informed decisions. Here are some strong points of university rankings such as QS:

  1. Credible. According to the QS website, the international brand recognition they generate “means [their] data-driven expertise is known and respected by both higher education leaders and prospective students.” QS originally began the process of ranking universities internationally by identifying the primary objectives of world-class universities, then carefully developed ways to measure these.
  2. Thorough. The QS university rankings are “[c]ompiled in partnership with tens of thousands of higher education institutions, …. incorporates data from 16.4 million academic papers and the views of more than 150,000 academics and 100,000 employers.” The QS Methodology has six indicators looking at four broad categories: research quality, the learning and teaching environment, research impact, and internationalisation. According to QS, their methodology is reassessed annually and they observe a formal process for adjustments or additions. They seek advice from their Global Academic Advisory Board (currently around 40 global academics who have expertise in their field) and assess the evidence and impact that any adjustments would have.
  3. Evolving. This year alone, QS has developed and incorporated three new indicators in determining their rankings to reflect today’s changing priorities and the evolving missions of higher education institutions. In a recent interview, QS Founder and President, Nunzio Quacquarelli, said: “While we have always tried to remain consistent in our methodology, we must also evolve to reflect the changing missions of universities.”
  4. Useful. The rankings have been designed to help students make thoughtful and informed choices more conveniently. Rankings take into account various factors: academic reputation, research output and impact, graduation rates, and employability, to name a few. Metrics such as these allow students to assess and consider schools based on factors that matter most to their educational goals.

GSP institution partners included in the top 100

Here’s a list of GSP’s partner institutions from Australia and New Zealand that have found their place in the top 100 universities.


Visit the GSP Platform to know more about our Australian and New Zealand institution partners. Explore a comprehensive range of programs, admission requirements, scholarships and more.