Southern Cross recognised as science heavyweight in global uni ranking

Professor Peter Harrison and colleagues collecting corals ready for spawning. Photo credit: Gary Cranitch

Southern Cross University has skated up the Times Higher Education rankings for physical sciences, now ranking in the top 3% of universities globally for the subject ranking.

The World University Rankings 2022 by subject for physical science now names Southern Cross in the top 250 in the world, an improvement on last year’s position by two bands, from 301-400 now up to 200-250.

The physical sciences category encompasses Geology, Environmental, Earth & Marine Sciences, as well as Mathematics and statistics, Physics and astronomy, and Chemistry.

The global ranking uses the same performance indicators as the THE’s flagship World University Rankings 2022, however the methodology has been carefully recalibrated for each subject, with the weightings changed to suit the individual fields.

The weightings for the physical sciences subject ranking include Citations (35 per cent), Research (27.5), Teaching (27.5), International Outlook (7.5), and Industry income (2.5).

Southern Cross University Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Professor Nicholas Ashbolt, said it was very rewarding for Southern Cross to be ranked strongly against the world’s best specialist science institutions.

“Southern Cross not only produces world-class scientific research and real-world application, but is deeply rooted in our regional communities with teaching and learning that rivals any metropolitan city. It is pleasing to see the growing reputation of Southern Cross in these global rankings,” he said.

“Our students are guided by some of the world-leaders in the field, including researchers such as Distinguished Professor Peter Harrison – a global leader in coral ecology and restoration; Professors Damien Maher, Bradley Eyre and Ed Burton leading Blue Carbon and other key biogeochemistry initiatives, along with Professors Kirsten Benkendorff, Brendan Kelaher and Symon Dworjanyn leading marine and aquaculture aspects from our National Marine Science Centre at Coffs Harbour. We also have younger academics making the world stage, such as Dr Daniel Harrison leading the reef cooling and shading aspects of the federally-funded Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program.

“I am also most excited with our restructure around the new Southern Cross teaching model, that plays into our systems thinking and environmental restoration themes, offering Science students specialisations in Earth and Environmental Systems, Forest Systems, Marine Systems and our world-first, Regenerative Agriculture program. Also, we are evolving information technology across our Faculty’s teaching into science and engineering to put students ahead in the data science field and real-world applications for ‘smart communities’ and ‘smart environments’.

“Our Forestry offerings have also recently been ranked in the top four percent of universities in the world under the QS Subject Rankings index,” he said.

“And the latest Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) results gave the University the highest possible rating of ‘well above world standard’ in its research for Earth Sciences, Geochemistry, Oceanography, Environmental Science and Management, Ecology, Zoology, Agricultural Sciences, Crop and Pasture Production, Fisheries Sciences, Forestry Sciences, Civil Engineering and Resources Engineering and Extractive Metallurgy.”

Undergraduate science courses offered at Southern Cross University include Bachelor of Science, including with specialisations in Earth and Environmental Systems, Forestry Systems, Marine Systems, Regenerative Agriculture; the Bachelor of Science with Honours and the Diploma of Science.

Higher Degrees Research offered at Southern Cross include the Master of Science (Environmental Science and Management), the Doctor of Philosophy (Environmental Science and Management), as well as the Graduate Certificate in Regenerative Agriculture.

This week Southern Cross University has also been ranked in the 2022 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by subject for Social Sciences, Business and Economics, and Education. In the past month the University was also ranked in Life Sciences, Clinical and Health, and Psychology – with Psychology moving up a band into the Top 400 globally.

In early September, Southern Cross University was ranked 163rd in the latest Times Higher Education Young University rankings. This ranking focussed solely on universities founded 50 years ago or earlier, with Southern Cross in the top third of the almost 500 institutions featured in the Young University list.

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