10 October 2017

A guide to international rankings of New Zealand universities

Linley Boniface
Last updated: 21 January 2022

New Zealand universities rank particularly highly in some subjects. According to the QS World University Rankings, we offer the world’s 19th best veterinary training, and both our medical schools are in the world’s top 150.

Our universities lead the way through academic excellence and personalised learning, as well as offering you the chance to enjoy a great quality of life, vibrant cities, stunning natural scenery and an unbeatable range of outdoor activities.

QS World University Rankings

The annual QS World University Rankings rank the world’s top 800 universities. The QS rankings are the most widely read comparison of their kind.

The QS report for 2022 ranks all eight New Zealand universities in the world’s top 500. Five of them rank in the top 300. New Zealand is the only country in the world with all of its universities ranked in the QS top 500.

The University of Auckland was top-ranked in the latest QS report at #85, followed by the University of Otago at #184.

QS rankings by subject

As well as providing overall rankings, QS also compares the rankings of universities in particular subject areas.

The latest QS rankings by subject show that seven New Zealand universities have at least one subject ranked in the world’s top 100, and four of them have subjects ranked in the world’s top 50.

Subjects that ranked particularly highly include:

  • Dentistry at the University of Otago, which is ranked in the world’s top 50 Sports-Related Subjects at the University of Otago, which is ranked 14th best in the world
  • Veterinary Science at Massey University, which is ranked 19th in the world
  • Pharmacy and Pharmacology at the University of Auckland is ranked 28th best in the world
  • Civil and Structural Engineering at the University of Auckland is ranked in the world’s top 50
  • Law and legal studies at Victoria University, which is ranked in the world’s top 100
  • Sports-Related Subjects at the Auckland University of Technology and the University of Auckland, both of which are ranked in the world’s top 50.

Times Higher Education World University Rankings

New Zealand universities also rank well in the 2022 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

The University of Auckland, the University of Otago, Victoria University, Massey University, University of Waikato and Auckland University of Technology are ranked in the top 500 universities for 2022.

Our universities rank particularly well for their international outlook. They are among the world’s best at attracting staff and students from around the world, and they have some of the world’s widest range of collaborations with universities in other countries.

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About the contributors
Linley Boniface

Linley Boniface is a contract writer for Education New Zealand. She is based in Wellington, her favourite city in New Zealand. A former journalist, Linley spent a year in Montreal, Canada, as a secondary school student.