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World university subject rankings 2016 help students pick the right university for discipline of choice

Clara Ng

Thu Mar 31 2016


THE latest QS World University Rankings by Subject offers students – and parents – a more nuanced approach to picking the right university based on subject disciplines. Clara Ng reports. 


Australian universities welcome high numbers of students from overseas each year.

A combination of a cosmopolitan environment, globally renowned institutions, and a high quality of life has made Australia one of the world’s leading destinations for people looking to study abroad, especially in the social, natural and life sciences.

In Australia, 33 universities were featured in the 2016 QS University World Rankings by Subject, with seven placing in the global top 100.

Overall, universities in Australia ranked the third-best globally, behind Britain and the United States.

The 2016 list covers a record-breaking 42 disciplines, and ranks the world’s top universities based on the number of citations of research papers, reputational surveys and the opinion of graduate employers.

This year, Australian National University topped the list, excelling in anthropology and politics.

This was followed by the University of Melbourne, leading in law and education, and the University of Sydney, in veterinary science.

Also notable were Monash University’s pharmacology and pharmacy courses, ranked fourth in the world.

Internationally however, Harvard and MIT continued to maintain a firm lead, topping the 2016 rankings with 12 subjects each.

Also amongst the top were the University of Cambridge, Berkeley, Stanford and the London School of Economics.

Within the Asia-Pacific, the National University of Singapore led with 13 placements in the top ten, followed by the University of Hong Kong and the University of Tokyo which placed sixth and fifth respectively.

Have the statistics changed over the years?

“Though US and UK remain dominant, our most inclusive rankings yet show that excellence can be found in an ever-increasing number of places”, Ben Sowter, Head of the QS Intelligence Unit said.

For more information about the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016, head to the  QS Top Universities website.