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University of Otago shines in national and int. rankings

University of Otago shines in national and international rankings

The University of Otago has continued to feature as one of the world's leading universities, according to the internationally respected Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Otago also performs extremely well in a key national assessment of the educational performance of New Zealand's tertiary sector.

This week saw the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) release its second annual set of educational performance indicators for New Zealand tertiary institutions. The release coincided with the international announcement of the latest Shanghai Jiao Tong rankings of the world's top 500 universities.

In the Shanghai rankings, which focus on research performance, Otago retained its position as one of the world's top 300 universities.

Otago, along with the University of Auckland, was one of only two New Zealand universities to feature in the top 300. As with last year, both were assessed and placed in the 201 to 300th band. The Shanghai ranking system does not provide individual placing beyond the top 100 universities.

Otago also featured strongly in the TEC's performance assessment, which rates the educational performance of tertiary providers, including the country's eight Universities, according to four key teaching-related performance indicators.

For the second year running, the TEC indicators placed Otago first among New Zealand universities for qualification completion, and for the retention of students in study. The TEC's analysis showed that for 2010, 88 per cent of Otago students either completed their qualification or re-enrolled for further study.

Otago was also one of three universities to achieve the highest completion rate for courses (papers), of 87 per cent.

Otago was not assessed in the fourth of the indicators, which measures progression from very low-level (sub-degree) tertiary study to degree-level study. These types of courses are not offered by the University, except through its Foundation Studies subsidiary. These courses account for less than one per cent of total teaching activity for the wider University of Otago group.

Otago Vice-Chancellor Professor Harlene Hayne has welcomed both the Shanghai and TEC results as further confirmation of Otago's place as a leading research and teaching tertiary institution.

"These rankings and indicators underscore Otago's international reputation for excellence in both teaching and research. We are extremely proud to have such encouraging results from two recognised assessment and rankings institutions," says Professor Hayne.

Since 2003, Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China has analysed research-led universities in the world on quality of faculty, research outputs, quality of education and performance, versus their size.

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