Science

UNSW Science leads the way in research excellence, says ERA analysis

Thursday, 28 March, 2019
Larissa Mavros

Research from UNSW Sydney is among the best in the world with the University receiving more top ratings in broad fields of research than any other Australian university in the 2018 Excellence in Research in Australia (ERA) analysis.

The ERA results, published today by the Australian Research Council, benchmark the country’s university research against international standards. The 'State of Australian University Research 2018-19' report assessed performance across broad fields and specific subject areas.

Highlights for Science include:

·       Maintained or increased ratings for all broad and specialised subject fields.

·       In broad fields of research, we maintained a rating of five for Mathematical Sciences and Earth Sciences and increased ratings from a four to five for Physical Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Biological Sciences.

·       All subjects under Mathematical Sciences, Earth Sciences and Biological Sciences received top ratings of five.

·       Received a rating of five in 21 out of 25 specialist fields of research, and a rating of four in the remaining three areas.

“This is an exceptional result for UNSW that showcases the world-class research environment at UNSW,” said Professor Nicholas Fisk, UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research. “I want to congratulate our researchers for continuing the University’s steep growth in research performance that is outpacing goals set out in our ambitious 2025 Strategy. The ERA results support the University’s strategic approach to raising its research profile so that in the future, even more research is recognised as world-leading.”

In the 2018 report, ERA assessed 21 broad fields of research and 89 specialised areas of research. In the 21 broad fields assessed, UNSW was one of only four institutions to receive a rating of four or five, indicating performance above or well above world standard. UNSW's average score of 4.8 was the highest in the country. 

Across broad fields, UNSW had the best result of any university in Australia, obtaining more top ratings of five for “outstanding performance well above world standard” than any other university with 17. Next was ANU with 15 and University of Melbourne with 14. 

The UNSW broad fields obtaining a rating of five include: Mathematical Sciences; Physical Sciences; Chemical Sciences; Earth Sciences; Environmental Sciences; Biological Sciences; Information and Computing Sciences; Engineering; Technology; Medical and Health Sciences; Education; Economics; Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services; Studies in Human Society; and Psychology and Cognitive Sciences; Law and Legal Studies. UNSW is again the only university to score a top rating of five in the broad field of Studies in Creative Arts and Writing.

The broad fields that received a rating of four are: Built Environment and Design; Language, Communication and Culture; History and Archaeology; and Philosophy and Religious Studies.

When broken down by subject, UNSW had 81 subjects rated above or well above world standard, up from 65 in the previous report published in 2015. Of those, 57 subjects received a rating of five, the highest number among universities in NSW and second among Go8 institutions after the University of Melbourne.

UNSW was the only university to earn a rating of five in three specialised areas: Food Sciences; Film, Television and Digital Media; and Performing Arts and Creative Writing.

“UNSW’s outstanding results in the 2018 ERA analysis exemplify the University’s commitment to producing world-class research across all fields of academia,” said UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Ian Jacobs. “Our researchers have excelled in all areas – from medicine and STEM subjects to the humanities and arts – propelling UNSW to among the best research universities in the world.”   

ERA results are based on a range of indicators including publications and citations, expert review and international benchmarks. For the full report visit the ARC website.