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 University is in the top 1% of the world’s more than 18,000 universities for 15 subjects and in the top 2% for 28 subjects in the latest QS World University Rankings.

These international subject rankings for 2023 reconfirm the University’s strong global standing thanks to the quality of our research and teaching and the reputation of our academics across many areas.

Leading the research field

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.

The most recent 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 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.

The QS rankings results include two subjects in the top 50 in the world—Library and Information Management and Development Studies.

Five other subjects are in the top 100 of the QS rankings:

  • English Language and Literature
  • Geography
  • Law
  • Linguistics
  • Politics and International Studies.

Victoria University of Wellington is also ranked at 112 equal internationally for the Arts and Humanities group of subjects.

In addition to the two top 100 subjects within the Arts and Humanities (English Language and Literature and Linguistics), other subjects in this field that rank highly are Performing Arts in the 100–120 band and History and Religious Studies (described as Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies by QS) in the band between 100 and 150, and Architecture/Built Environment and Modern Languages in the 151–200 band.

In the Social Sciences and Management group of subjects, in addition to Development Studies, Law, Library and Information Management, and Politics and International Studies being top 100 subjects, Anthropology, Hospitality and Leisure Management, and Sociology are ranked in the 101–150 band, and Accounting and Finance, and Education are in the 151-200 band.

Other highly ranked subjects include Earth and Marine Sciences and Psychology in the 101–150 band.

Amongst New Zealand universities, Victoria University of Wellington is first or first equal in 6 subjects—Earth and Marine Sciences, History, Linguistics, Library and Information Management, Politics and International Studies, and Sociology.