The University of Sydney has jumped 22 places in the highly regarded 2024 QS World University Rankings, now placed equal 19th globally, among the top 20 universities in the world.
Australian universities are now considered some of the world’s best with the University of Sydney advancing 22 places to equal 19th in the world and equal second in Australia.
Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott AO said it was a remarkable achievement for Australian universities to be recognised on the world stage, reaching their highest rankings to date.
“These outstanding results are a win for the higher education sector in Australia and particularly universities in Sydney, with the University of Sydney tying in 19th place with the University of New South Wales and equal second in Australia. It affirms Sydney’s reputation as being a great global city for higher education.
“We know our research is world-class and the education our students receive at universities across Australia is amongst the best in the world and this outcome is a testament to that.”
The QS World University Rankings are some of the most comprehensive rankings of their kind and this year the most far-reaching change to their methodology has been made by introducing three new metrics to reflect shifts in the sector and changing priorities of students.
The University of Sydney ranked first in Australia in the newly created sustainability category and the other two new categories are employment outcomes and international research network.
University of Sydney Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson AC said the result was a particularly proud moment for the University and recognised the hard work that had gone into achieving this outstanding outcome.
“I am especially proud of what the data underpinning the results shows us – that our high global ranking is based on the extraordinary achievements of our staff and students and how they contribute to the public good,” she said.
Speaking at an event that marked the 20th anniversary of the QS World University Rankings, attended by Vice-Chancellors, Provosts and Deputy Vice-Chancellors and representatives from government departments, industry and higher education bodies across the sector, Ms Hutchison said: “By working in partnership with other universities, governments, industry, and our communities we know that we are all stronger, and that the impact and influence of our research and teaching is greater.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Emma Johnston said the University was delighted with the results.
“The QS World University Rankings serve as a useful benchmark for us to measure ourselves against the best universities worldwide and a view of what others think of our work. They also play a vital role in garnering recognition from various stakeholders, including industry partners, our broader community, government entities, and current and future students,” she said.
“The University scored an outstanding 99.7 points for sustainability, ranking first in Australia and is now seventh in the world. Our ambitious 2032 Strategy has deepened our commitment to embedding sustainability and caring for Country in all we do, working with First Nations knowledge and history for a future that is better, and more just.
“Overall, Australia achieved the 11th highest average score in Sustainability, an achievement we should be proud of and continue to build on.”
Examples of some of the University’s recent sustainability research and engagement include:
- a new low-cost battery which holds four times the energy capacity of lithium-ion batteries and is far cheaper to produce
- medical professionals in cardiology helping reduce healthcare’s carbon footprint, by suggesting small, low-cost changes in how they work
- showing how unnecessary vitamin D testing in Australia is costing our health care system, creating a significant carbon footprint
- commercialising perovskite-silicon cells - a significantly more advanced solar technology
- successfully biodegrading polypropylene, a hard to recycle plastic, using two strains of fungi
- a multi-disciplinary project examining our understanding of how the ocean relates to the global north and south
- the need for businesses, the financial services industry and regulators to work more closely with climate scientists when assessing climate risk
- multi-faceted research on how pursuing a more sustainable future requires transitions across a range of institutional spaces including politics, economics, food, finances, and energy
- the Business School’s work on Sustainable Development Goals and commitment to the principles of responsible management education.
In addition to ranking seventh in the world for Sustainability, the University ranked 13th for International Students and 31st for academic reputation. Within Australia, the University of Sydney ranked first for sustainability and international students, second for academic reputation and third for employer reputation and employment outcomes.
The international student ratio, with a score of 100, is the University’s strongest indicator. QS regards this as a proxy measure for how attractive a university is to international students and how internationalised the student experience will be.
“We deeply value the contribution our international students make to the diversity of opinions and views at Sydney, making the educational experience richer for all our students,” Professor Scott said.
Earlier this year in the QS 2023 subject rankings, the University performed strongly with seven disciplines ranked in the global top 20 and 30 in the top 50, with Arts and Humanities ranked first equal in Australia.
The 2024 QS World University Rankings feature 1500 universities from 104 different higher education systems. These rankings are based on the analysis of over 17.5 million academic papers, insights from more than 240,000 academic faculty members and employers.