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Southern Cross University leaps 80 places in Times Higher Education (THE) World University rankings

man and woman walking on path


Jason Purdie
28 September 2023

Southern Cross University – already among the top 200 young universities in the world – has leapt 80 places in the overnight release of the Times Higher Education (THE) World University rankings.

Southern Cross has recorded marked increases for both teaching and research performance among THE’s field of 1904 top institutions globally.

It has risen to the 501-600 band (from 601-800) - moving from 673rd last year to 593rd this year.

Southern Cross University is up an impressive 139 places in the measurement pillar for Teaching rank, and 76 places in Research quality, where it now sits at 667 globally.

“I’m very proud that Southern Cross’s strategy, and the efforts of our people to deliver it, are being reflected in measures such as these rankings,” University Vice-Chancellor Professor Tyrone Carlin said.

“Constant improvement in teaching quality is at the heart of our innovative Southern Cross Model, which is also reflecting in our student success and retention data.

“And for a small, young, regional university, we’re making a significant contribution in terms of teaching and research citations from other researchers from world-class institutions.”

“For a small, young, regional university, we’re making a significant contribution in terms of teaching and research citations...”

An outdoor portrait of Professor Tyrone Carlin - Vice Chancellor

A deep appreciation of the long-term value of research was also behind the establishment of Southern Cross University’s Research Impact Clusters – four future-focused groups taking a targeted approach to addressing areas of urgent environmental need: Harvest to Health, ZeroWaste, Reefs and Oceans, Catchments, Coasts and Communities.

“The Research Impact Clusters will enhance the significant impact our academic researchers are already making in investigating numerous factors in today’s environment, such as marine plastics pollution, pesticide run-off near coastal agriculture and damage to breeding corals,” said Professor Mary Spongberg, Southern Cross University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Academic Quality).

“And we’re already seeing our ‘home-grown’ researchers – our students – in the media with their notable work, such as the research by one of our PhD candidates, Meryl Larkin, into the conservation and restoration of Dendronephthya australis - the purple cauliflower soft coral, one of the 100 priority species on the Federal Government’s Threatened Species Strategy.

“We’re also seeing great research coming out of the Faculties of Health and Education, which is really raising our profile in the crucial areas of children’s mental health and wellbeing,” she said.

A prime example of this is Professor Anne Graham’s work in founding the University’s Centre for Children and Young People (CCYP), which has cemented Southern Cross University’s international reputation as a key player in providing high quality, high impact evidence-based research to improve the policies and practices that impact children and young people's lives. The Centre’s 10-year partnership with UNICEF has produced world-leading resources for guiding ethical research involving children.

The rankings are calculated on a range of factors, with this year's methodology adding five new indicators to the mix:

  • Research strength
  • Research excellence
  • Research influence
  • Patents
  • Study abroad.

Other indicators recording strong improvement for Southern Cross University are Doctorate to academic staff ratio and Institutional income to academic staff, both of which are key to delivering top quality learning.

This latest good rankings news sits with earlier advice that Southern Cross University has kept its position in THE's Top 200 Young Universities and scored its highest-ever placing in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings this year.

You can find out more about the Times Higher Education (THE) rankings here.

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