by S N McGannon

This is a ranking of the top universities in Australia ranked relative to each other by average world rank for the year 2020.

The ranking was created by using metadata sourced from the four prominent rankings of world universities (each ranking released in 2020): Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), Times Higher Education (THE), U.S. News & World Report (USNWR), and Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). 

Rank was determined on each list for every Australian university ranked on each list. Then for each university all its rank placements were averaged across lists to create the new list of average ranking for each university. The universities were then ranked according to their average ranking. The university with the highest average is thus ranked 1st, the one with the second highest average 2nd, and so on.

Finally, the results were tabled, and are shown below (Figure 1). The leftmost column shows the final relative placement (relative placement based on average rank, i.e.), the “institution” column shows the institution ranked, the next four rightward columns (ARWU, QS, THE, USNWR) show the rank for each given institution in each of those selected world rankings, and the rightmost column (“Average World Rank”) averages the four ranking lists’ rank placement for each university.

A couple of observations —

  • ARWU and USNWR predict the top 10, but neither do so in the correct order.
  • Only QS failed to predict University of Melbourne as 1st.

If anything appears to be in error, please email me at

Figure 1.

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