Kiwi universities slip in world rankings

23:28, Sep 08 2010

New Zealand universities have slipped in the latest international rankings.

Only the University of Auckland has made it onto the top 100 list for this year's QS World University Rankings this week.

It came in at 68th, way ahead of the University of Otago at 135th and the distant last, the University of Waikato at 316th.

All the universities have slid over the year, except Wellington's Victoria University.

The top 10 positions were dominated by US and British universities with Cambridge topping the list.

Over the Tasman, the University of Australia came in at 17th while the Universities of Melbourne and Sydney were 36th equal.

"We are pleased to have retained our position in the top 100 but we will struggle to maintain parity with our international peers if the underinvestment in New Zealand universities continues," said Auckland's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon.

"New Zealand's direct public investment in tertiary institutions is 58 percent out of the total expenditure on tertiary education; this compares with an OECD average of 81 percent, and just under 70 percent in Australia for tertiary institutions. As other countries increase their per-student expenditure, the gap is only going to widen."

In 2009 Auckland University was 61st, 2008 it was 65th, 2007 it was 50th and in 2006 it was 46th equal.

Otago University has gone from 79th position in 2006 to 135th this year.

Canterbury was 333rd in 2006 and this year is 189th. It has, however, languished at this level for the last four years.

Victoria currently ranks at 225, lingering at that level with 229, 227, 234 and 222 over the past five years.

Massey University of Palmerston North and Albany is 302. In 2006 it was 213 and has been on the slide since.

Waikato University in Hamilton is currently 316, and in the years previous was 284, 278, 319 and 340.