The latest global university rankings sees Kiwi medical, nursing, pharmacy and dentistry schools all making the top 100.

Now in its eighth year, the annual QS World University Rankings rank 1130 institutions across 48 subjects by comparing academic reputation, employer reputation, research citations and impact (see more below).

Last year both the University of Auckland and Otago medical schools made the top 100 for medicine but in the 2018 rankings Otago has slipped into the top 150.

In the global rankings for the multi-subject Life Sciences and Medicine category it is Otago who has improved its placing – up from 66th equal last year to 64th this year and Auckland that has dropped from 62nd equal to 78th.

In 2018 for the first time New Zealand has three nursing schools in the top 100. The highest ranked was the University of Auckland at 41st equal (up from 50th last year) and for the first time the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and University of Otago nursing schools have both made the top 100. Massey University’s nursing school dropped out of the top 100 for the first time after making the top 100 for the previous two years.

New Zealand’s highest rankings in the Life Sciences and Medicine subjects was anatomy and physiology where Otago was ranked 18th and Auckland 29th in the world respectively – both up on the their ranking last year.

In dentistry the University of Otago was 27th equal up on 29th equal last year.

For pharmacy both Auckland and Otago’s schools were ranked in the top 100. The top ranked Australasian school was Monash University at 2nd globally and there are five Australian schools in the top 100.

In psychology the University of Auckland is ranked 36th equal, the University of Otago is ranked in the top 100, the University of Canterbury in the top 200 and Massey University in the top 250.

Also ranked in the area of Life Sciences and Medicine (which covers nine subjects including the five health disciplines plus anatomy and physiology, biological sciences, agriculture and veterinary science) alongside Otago and Auckland were Massey at 288th and the University of Canterbury in the top 450.

Once again the top ranked medical school in the world is Harvard followed by the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge.

The top ranked nursing school globally was also consistent with the University of Pennsylvania once again being placed first.

Australia has eight medical schools ranked in the top 100 in the world with the highest ranked being the University of Melbourne (17th) and University of Sydney (18th).


Each of the subject rankings is compiled using four sources. The first two of these are QS’s global surveys of academics and employers, which are used to assess institutions’ international reputation in each subject. The second two indicators assess research impact, based on research citations per paper and h-index in the relevant subject sourced from Elsevier’s Scopus database.

A total of 1130 institutions were ranked across 48 subjects in five subject areas. The scores cover survey responses from more than 170,000 academics and 158,000 employers worldwide.

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