Rankings confirm global standing

The results from the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject put Wellington’s University in the top 1% of the world’s more than 18,000 universities for 20 subjects.

International subject rankings for 2021 confirm Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s strong global standing thanks to the quality of our research and teaching and the reputation of our academics.

The results from the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject put Wellington’s University in the top 1% of the world’s more than 18,000 universities for 20 individual subjects and in the top 2% for 30.

Places in the rankings are recorded by either a specific position or a wider band.

Victoria University of Wellington is New Zealand’s top ranking university for the Arts and Humanities broad subject area (at equal 72nd internationally), as well as for the individual subjects Library and Information Management (25th internationally) and Politics and International Studies (51–100 band internationally).

Professor Jennifer Windsor, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, says the results reflect the deep commitment of University staff and students across the arts and humanities subjects to creating meaningful impact.

“We know research and study in the arts offer flexibility and creativity to help shape the future. We’re delighted this top national ranking confirms we are the university of choice for those wanting to study in the arts and humanities,” says Professor Windsor.

The outstanding result for Library and Information Management, which sits within the University’s Wellington School of Business and Government, shows our excellence in a specialist field of growing importance, says Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford.

“The University has also long been a leader when it comes to social sciences such as Politics and International Studies and in February last year hosted a QS Subject Focus Summit on Power Shifts in the Asia–Pacific: Large and Small State Perspectives. Also in 2020, our academics led the way in helping New Zealanders better understand the New Zealand and United States elections and the impacts of COVID-19,” says Professor Guilford.

Another strong result in the rankings is Law at equal 65th.

The University has 20 subjects in the top 150, 11 of them in the top 100.

The Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences’ strong performance includes having in the top 100: English Language and Literature; Linguistics; and Performing Arts. In the top 150, it has: History; Modern Languages; Philosophy; and Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies.

As well as Library and Information Management, the Wellington School of Business and Government has Hospitality and Leisure Management in the top 100 and Accounting and Finance and Social Policy and Administration in the top 150.

In the Wellington Faculty of Science, Development Studies, Earth and Marine Sciences, Geology, and Psychology are in the top 100 and Geography and Geophysics are in the top 150.

Elsewhere in the University, Architecture and Built Environment is also in the top 150.

Over the past few years, university rankings have become increasingly competitive, with many new, young universities entering the rankings, but Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington has moved up the overall QS World University Rankings from equal 275 in 2014 to 223 in 2020.

Along with the yearly ranking, we are one of only 14 universities in the world to hold the maximum ‘five stars plus’ overall in the three-yearly QS Stars rating of excellence and five stars in each of the eight indicators—arts and culture; discipline ranking and accreditations; employability; facilities; inclusiveness; internationalisation; research; and teaching.

As well as our global rankings, the University is number one for research intensity in the latest six-yearly assessment of the Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF), New Zealand’s main measure of research quality. The University has a higher proportion of academics conducting high-quality research than any other university in the country. We are the only university to top the PBRF assessment twice, having done so consecutively in 2012 and 2018.