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 rank University World rank
1 University of Melbourne 40
2 University of Queensland 55
3 Australian National University 77
4 Monash University 79
5 University of Sydney 82
6 University of Western Australia 96
7 University of Adelaide 126
7 University of New South Wales 126
9 Curtin University 251
9 Deakin University 251
9 James Cook University 251
9 Macquarie University 251
9 Queensland University of Technology 251
9 University of Tasmania 251
15 Flinders University 351
15 Griffith University 351
15 La Trobe University 351
15 University of Newcastle 351
15 University of Technology Sydney 351
15 Western Sydney University 351
15 University of Wollongong 351
22 RMIT University 451
22 Swinburne University of Technology 451

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