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London – Three New Zealand’s universities have improved their standings in the latest QS World Rankings, just released today.

Quacquarelli Symonds, global higher education analysts, has today released the 18th edition of the world’s most-consulted international university rankings.

The University of Auckland, which has retained its top-100 position, but they are 85th, down four places year-on-year.

Lincoln University, which has risen 15 places year-on-year, and now ranks 372nd while the University of Canterbury has climbed to 270th from 258th.

The University of Waikato, which has risen two places year-on-year, and now ranks joint-373rd.

Seven of New Zealand’s eight ranked universities are trending downwards in QS’s academic reputation metric. This indicator, which is weighted most highly of the ranking’s six constituent metrics, accounts for the sentiments of over 130,000 academics regarding university quality.

Five of New Zealand’s eight ranked universities are trending downwards in QS’s faculty/student ratio indicator, which is designed as a proxy measure for teaching capacity.

Six of New Zealand’s eight ranked universities place outside the top-500 for this indicator, implying that an expansion in national teaching capacity is essential if New Zealand’s universities are to enjoy ranking improvements.

In the employer reputation indicator, six of New Zealand’s eight ranked universities have improved their performance, with the University of Auckland ranking 139th for this metric.

Ben Sowter, director of research at QS, says New Zealand is not alone in experiencing systemic teaching provision challenges.

“Across the QS world rankings, we are seeing higher education systems struggle to increase teaching capacity at rates commensurate with rising student demand and the desire to attract international students.

“However, as extensive engagement with those students makes clear, the extent to which a university experience features personalized learning is an essential factor in choosing a study destination – so it is imperative that this challenge is acknowledged and combated.”

Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieves a record-extending 10th consecutive year as world number-one.

The University of Oxford has risen to 2nd for the first time since 2006, while Stanford University and the University of Cambridge share 3rd spot.

Mainland China is home to two of the world’s top twenty universities for the first time ever, after Peking University’s rise into the top 20. The best university outside of the United Kingdom and United States is Switzerland’s ETH Zurich (8th).

QS has listed the world’s top 1300 universities – 145 more than in last year’s edition.