The University of Wollongong has gained ground in an international ranking system, bucking a downward trend among many of Australia’s sandstone universities.
UOW retained its top 2 per cent status according to the latest The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and advanced into the bracket for the top 276-300 universities, up from the 301-350 band last year.
UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings, who has introduced a revitalisation program to try to move UOW into the top 1per cent, welcomed the result.
The Times release follows the recent QS World University Rankings, in which UOW slid 12 places to 276th, a marginal decline Prof Wellings attributed to the growing status of Asian universities.
‘‘Overall, it’s been a good year for UOW in the key international rankings,’’ Prof Wellings said.
The majority of Australian universities have lost ground in the latest international rankings, after ceding to stronger competition from their regional counterparts.
Times Higher Education World University Rankings editor Phil Baty said the poor performance in the 2013-14 global index should be a reality check for Australia.
The University of Melbourne remained the country’s top institution, but it dropped four places in the overall survey from last year to 34th. By contrast, the National University of Singapore moved up to 23rd – to be 11 spots ahead of Melbourne instead of one rung behind.
‘‘It’s not as if suddenly Melbourne’s got a lot worse, it’s just that it’s not competing as much,’’ Mr Baty said.
Only five of Australia’s ranked universities gained ground; the other seven all fell.
The Australian National University is still the nation’s second-ranked institution although it also lost ground, moving down to 48th from 37th.
The University of Queensland (63rd) leapfrogged the University of Sydney, which dropped 10 places to 72nd. Monash University also moved up to rank 91st, instead of 99th.
University of NSW dropped out of the top 100 institutions to be ranked 114. The University of Adelaide fell from 176th down to the 201-225 bracket.