More investment needs to go into the country's universities
if they're to move higher up a list ranking the world's
institutions, the head of Auckland University says.
New Zealand universities have failed to rank among the
world's most prestigious 100 institutions as rated by top
The Times Higher Education reputation rankings, released
today, were based on the world's largest invitation-only
academic opinion survey.
The rankings showed American and British universities
remained highly rated by top scholars, while Asian
universities were becoming increasingly well-regarded.
New Zealand had never rated in the top 100.
The top-ranked New Zealand university, the University of
Auckland, had slipped from about 150 to about the 200 mark.
Vice Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon said it was a "concern"
that universities here were slipping down the rankings.
"The main thing that correlates with rankings is the level of
investment that a country makes in its university systems."
Universities here operated with the lowest income or
expenditure per student in the world, which was a problem in
resourcing, Professor McCutcheon said.
Five Australia universities made the top 100 list.
"What you find is the Australian universities have a higher
level of government investment, they have higher levels of
student fees, they have higher levels of research funding,
they have higher levels of industry investing in research in
the institutions, they have higher levels of philanthropy."
The rankings also affected how many overseas students were
attracted to universities here, Professor McCutcheon said.
"So it's a serious business."
Labour Party spokesman for Export Education Raymond Huo said
New Zealand was competing with the United States, the United
Kingdom, Australia and Canada in wooing overseas students.
The sector added $2.6 billion annually to our economy,
creating jobs and establishing vital cultural and business
links, he said.
"If we see another drop in student numbers this year the
sector will feel the pinch more," Mr Huo said.
Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce said universities
needed to face challenges including attracting more
international students, expanding research links, and
investing more in disciplines where they had a competitive
"The Government has increased its investment in universities
by 16.5 per cent over the last four years, despite tough
financial times. The annual income of New Zealand
universities was nearly $500 million a year higher in 2012
than it was in 2008," he said.
A drop in the number of international student over the last
few years was due to the impacts from the Global Financial
Crisis and the Christchurch Earthquakes, he said.
The Times result comes after five New Zealand universities
were ranked among the world's top 50 institutions, by
discipline, by another British ranking company.
The QS rankings, released last month, rated the University of
Auckland as the country's best-performing institution.
The University of Canterbury, University of Otago, Massey
University and University of Waikato also got top-50 mentions
The world's top 10 universities
1. Harvard Harvard University (US)
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)
3. Stanford University (US)
4. University of Cambridge (UK)
5. University of Oxford (UK)
6. University of California, Berkeley (US)
7. Princeton University (US)
8. Yale University (US)
9. California Institute of Technology (US)
10. University of California, Los Angeles (US)
Times Higher Education reputation rankings)