Most New Zealand universities fall in latest world rankings, thanks to lack of teachers

Auckland, Waikato, Otago universities
Three went up, five went down. Photo credit: Getty Images

More than half of New Zealand's universities have fallen in the latest world rankings, largely due to a lack of teachers.

The University of Auckland remains our top-ranked university according to Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), dropping from 81st to 85th in the 2022 rankings, released on Wednesday.

Also dropping are the University of Otago (184th to 194th), Victoria University of Wellington (223rd to 236th), Massey University (272nd to 284th) and the Auckland University of Technology (437th to 451st). 

Five of our eight universities have a worsening faculty/student ratio, which accounts for 20 percent of the QS score, driving the drop in the rankings. Six of our universities place outside the top 500 in this category. 

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

"Across the QS World University 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 personalised learning is an essential factor in choosing a study destination - so it is imperative that this challenge is acknowledged and combated."

Three of our universities went up in the rankings - University of Canterbury (270th to 258th), University of Waikato (375th to 373rd) and the biggest riser Lincoln University (up 15 places from 387th to 372nd).

New Zealand overall scored well in terms of employer reputation, which accounts for 10 percent of the overall grade, with six improving. But seven of the eight fell in terms of academic reputation, which has the biggest weighting - 40 percent. 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology was again named the number one university in the world, for the 10th year running. The University of Oxford moved into second, ahead of Stanford University and the University of Cambridge tied for third. 

The top university outside of the UK and US was ETH Zurich in Switzerland. 

Also making the top 10 were Harvard University, the California Institute of Technology, University College London and the University of Chicago.