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Universities lose ground in world rankings

For immediate release: 10th October 2008

Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings 2008


Top New Zealand universities lose ground in world university rankings

(Top 200 rankings published in print on 9th October 2008 in Times Higher Education and Top 400 rankings will be published online at 00.01 GMT on Monday 13th October at topuniversities.com)

The 2008 edition of the THE-QS World University Rankings indicates the recognition of the depth of the New Zealand education system amongst the world’s leading academics and employers with a satisfactory showing of six in the world’s top 400. However New Zealand schools show a lower ranking overall than last year and there are now no Kiwi schools in the top 50 and only one (Auckland) in the top 100.

Now in its fifth year, the research is conducted by QS Quacquarelli Symonds. The rankings are published by the Times Higher Education, formerly the Times Higher Education Supplement, on 9th October.

New Zealand universities that feature amongst the top universities in the world are:

2008 Rank

2007 Rank

Institution name



The University of AUCKLAND



University of OTAGO



University of CANTERBURY



VICTORIA University of Wellington



MASSEY University



University of WAIKATO

Source: QS Quacquarelli Symonds topuniversities.com

© QS Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd 2008

This year the THE-QS World University Rankings have received unprecedented responses from both the international academic community and international employers.  6,354 academics (compared with 5,101 in 2007) and 2,339 employers (compared with 1,482 in 2007) responded to the survey, eager to reflect the position and influence of the world’s top international universities.   

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Other highlights from New Zealand include:

Top 50: The University of Auckland has lost its top 50 status and dropped to a still fairly creditable 65
Only Canterbury and Victoria University have rankings higher than in 2007.
Martin Ince, contributing editor of THE and co-editor of the Top Universities Guide, says: “These rankings use an unprecedented and accurate amount of data to deliver the best overall look at the strength of the world’s top universities. They are important for governments wanting to gauge the progress of their education systems, and are used in planning by universities across the world.”

Nunzio Quacquarelli, Managing Director of QS and co-editor of the Top Universities Guide says: “In just five years, the THE-QS World University Rankings have become the primary benchmark for comparing universities across borders – recognised for their accuracy and insight.  The rankings allow prospective students, parents, academics, employers and journalists to gain an insight into international university education, helping them to make the right choices, whether it is in selecting a university for study or for partnership.”

Quacquarelli says: “Rankings are contentious and QS has always argued that they should be used with caution, understanding that they cannot reflect all aspects of university excellence. The criteria upon which we rank universities reflect our mission to identify the world’s best universities in terms of research, employability, international profile and teaching quality. But we recognise that everyone is different and we encourage people to look at the data for over 1,000 universities covered in our research and to create their own personalized ranking.”

In 2009 QS will be publishing World University Subject Rankings for 20 different degree disciplines and publishing the results on www.topuniversities.com.

For further information please contact:

Simona Bizzozero
Media Relations Manager
QS Quacquarelli Symonds
t: + 44 (0) 7880 620 856
+ 44 (0) 20 7284 7248   +44 (0) 20 7284 7240

Martin Ince
Contributing Editor THE
t: + 44 (0) 771 939 0958

Notes for Editors:

1. Sourcing the THE-QS World University Rankings 2008

Upon reference or reproduction, the title of the rankings must always be “THE-QS World University Rankings” and any lists must be correctly sourced: “QS Quacquarelli Symonds”

2. THE-QS World University Rankings Indicators

The calculations leading to the THE-QS World University Rankings are based on data gathered in the following categories:

·         Peer Academic Review

·         Recruiter Review  

·         International Faculty Ratio

·         International Student Ratio

·         Student Faculty Ratio

·         Citations per Faculty (citation data supplied by Scopus)

3. THE-QS World University Rankings Methodology 2008

For a detailed review of the research methodology and changes and updates in data gathering and computation in 2008, please visit the QS website www.topuniversities.com

4. The Times Higher Education - was founded in 1971 and is the weekly magazine of universities across the world.  It is no longer affiliated to The Times [of London].

5. QS Quacquarelli Symonds QS provides guidance for higher education and career choices, enabling high achievers to progress towards their leadership goals. Through our exclusive events, publications, research and interactive web tools, we link undergraduate, graduate, MBA and executive communities around the world with recruiters and education providers. Our communities include: QS TopUniversities.com, QS TopGradSchool.com  QS TopMBA.com,  QS Global Workplace.com. The QS team of over 100 individuals from the four corners of the world represent the experience and goals of the achievers we aim to assist. They include internationally recognized experts in the higher and business education arena. QS operates globally from offices in London, Paris, Singapore, Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, Washington DC, Boston, and Johannesburg.

6. Top Universities Guide – The Official Guide to the THE-QS World University Rankings contains advice on selecting, applying and financing your university experience.  Co-edited by Nunzio Quacquarelli, Martin Ince and John O’Leary, the 500 page Guide contains detailed profiles on all top ranked universities around the world. 

6. Martin Ince - is contributing editor of the THE and co- edits the THE-QS World University Rankings. He is a science and education journalist and media adviser based in London and welcomes inquiries on +44 771 939 0958, martin@martinince.com

7. Nunzio Quacquarelli - Nunzio Quacquarelli is founder and managing director of QS Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd and architect of the THE-QS World University Rankings. Nunzio took his MBA at The Wharton School in the USA, where he won the Glockner Prize, after gaining an MA at the University of Cambridge. A respected journalist on management education and careers, Nunzio has written regularly for The Times of London and numerous other international leading media for the past sixteen years.


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