Research performance and rankings

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington is New Zealand’s top-ranked university for intensity of high-quality research.

Our rankings

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington is proud to be in the top 1% of universities in the world for 20 subjects and in the top 2% overall. There are more than 18,000 universities internationally and the 2021 QS World University Rankings by Subject rank the top institutions.

We received five stars plus overall in the 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.

Leading the research field

Victoria University of Wellington has a larger proportion of its academics conducting high-quality research than any other university in New Zealand.

The most recent Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) quality evaluation of New Zealand universities shows we have more than 850 staff actively involved in research and 66 percent of those are operating at the highest levels (rated either A or B).

The University has more A-rated researchers than any other New Zealand university in eight subject areas:

  • Earth Sciences
  • English Language and Literature
  • Foreign Languages and Linguistics
  • History, History of Art, Classics and Curatorial Studies
  • Music, Literary Arts and Other Arts
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science, International Relations and Public Policy
  • Theatre and Dance, Film, TV and Multimedia.

Our Faculty of Law is the number one law school in New Zealand for both its proportion of A-ranked researchers and A- and B-ranked researchers combined.

We are in the top three universities for its number of A-rated researchers for:

  • Computer Science, IT and Information Sciences
  • Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour
  • Law
  • Māori Knowledge and Development
  • Molecular, Cellular and Whole Organism Biology
  • Pure and Applied Mathematics
  • Sociology, Social Policy, Social Work, Criminology and Gender Studies.

Victoria University of Wellington’s outstanding PBRF performance in humanities and social sciences reflects its robust commitment to these disciplines, which are crucial to the University’s vision of cultivating global citizens capable of critical and creative thinking.

Global recognition

Wellington School of Business and Government leads the world as one of an elite group of commerce faculties worldwide that hold the Triple Crown of international accreditations of EQUIS, AACSB (Business) and AMBA.

One of the subjects the school offers—Library and Information Management—is at 25 in the QS rankings, higher than any other New Zealand university, demonstrating our excellence in a specialist field of growing importance.

We are also the top-ranking New Zealand university for the broad subject area of Arts and Humanities (at equal 72nd internationally) and the individual subject area of Politics and International Studies (51–100 band internationally).

Another strong ranking is Law at equal 65th internationally.

In total, 11 of our subjects are in the top 100 of the QS rankings:

  • Development Studies
  • Earth and Marine Sciences
  • English Language and Literature
  • Geology
  • Hospitality and Leisure Management
  • Law
  • Library and Information Management
  • Linguistics
  • Performing Arts
  • Politics and International Studies
  • Psychology

Four of those subjects are in the Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Another four of the faculty’s subjects are in the top 150: History; Modern Languages; Philosophy; and Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies.

Our Wellington Faculty of Science has four subjects in the top 100 and two (Geography and Geophysics) in the top 150.

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

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

In addition to the 11 subjects in the top 100 of QS, Education at the University is ranked 79 in the world by Times Higher Education (THE 2021).