The Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) ranks the world's top research universities. These include some of the leading Australian universities for academic research.

Shanghai ARWU measures elite research performance using 6 indicators:

  1. number of alumni winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals (10%)
  2. number of staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals (20%)
  3. number of highly cited researchers selected by Thomson Scientific (20%)
  4. number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science (20%)
  5. number of articles indexed in Science Citation Indexes (20%)
  6. per capita performance considering the size of an institution (10%).

ARWU, often referred to simply as the ‘Shanghai Rankings’, was originally developed to compare Chinese universities with others worldwide, with particular reference to academic and research performance.

Shanghai ARWU university rankings.

Shanghai ARWU 2016 Australian Rankings

In 2016, Shanghai ARWU ranked 6 Australian universities in the world's top 100.

  • 23 Australian universities made the final cut into the world's top 500.
  • In other words, more than half of Australia's universities are rated among the best in the world for research.
Aust rankUniversityWorld rank
1University of Melbourne40
2University of Queensland55
3Australian National University77
4Monash University79
5University of Sydney82
6University of Western Australia96
7University of Adelaide126
7University of New South Wales126
9Curtin University251
9Deakin University251
9James Cook University251
9Macquarie University251
9Queensland University of Technology251
9University of Tasmania251
15Flinders University351
15Griffith University351
15La Trobe University351
15University of Newcastle351
15University of Technology Sydney351
15Western Sydney University351
15University of Wollongong351
22RMIT University451
22Swinburne University of Technology451

Shanghai Jiao Tong University's ranking is exclusively based on research-related indicators. The ranking does not include data from the humanities, as this would favour universities in English-speaking countries.

Ranking Method and Value

The Shanghai ARWU rankings objectively measure the calibre of research staff and the quality and volume of publications. Unlike web rankings, the data relate to official academic journals.

For students, the main value of the rankings is to identify prestigious universities. A degree from a prestigious institution can be more valuable in the job market. Other prestige rankings are produced by QS and Times Higher Education.

More Australian university rankings