Southern Cross recognized as science heavyweight in world university rankings


Professor Peter Harrison and his colleagues collect corals ready to spawn. Photo credit: Gary Cranitch

Southern Cross University has climbed the Times Higher Education rankings for the physical sciences, now ranking in the top 3% of the best universities in the world for subject rankings.

The 2022 World University Rankings by Subject for the Physical Sciences now ranks Southern Cross in the top 250 in the world, an improvement from last year’s position of two groups of 301-400 now at 200-250.

The category of physical sciences includes Geology, environmental, earth and sea sciences, as well as Mathematics and Statistics, Physics and Astronomy, and Chemistry.

The Global Ranking uses the same performance indicators as THE 2022 flagship Global University Rankings, but the methodology has been carefully recalibrated for each subject, with weights modified to fit individual subject areas.

Weights for ranking of physical science subjects include citations (35%), research (27.5), teaching (27.5), international outlook (7.5), and industry income (2.5).

The Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Southern Cross University, Professor Nicholas Ashbolt, said that it is very gratifying for Southern Cross to be ranked among the best specialized scientific institutions in the world.

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

“Our students are guided by some of the world’s leaders in the field, including researchers such as distinguished professor Peter Harrison – a world leader in coral ecology and restoration; Professors Damien Maher, Bradley Eyre and Ed Burton lead Blue Carbon and other key biogeochemistry initiatives, as well as Professors Kirsten Benkendorff, Brendan Kelaher and Symon Dworjanyn lead the marine and aquaculture aspects of our National Marine Science Center in Coffs Harbor. We also have younger academics emerging on the world stage like Dr Daniel Harrison leading the reef cooling and shading aspects of the federally funded reef restoration and adaptation program.

“I am also very excited about our restructuring around the new Southern Cross teaching model, which fits into our themes of Systems Thinking and Environmental Restoration, providing science students with specializations in Earth and Environmental Systems, Systems forestry, marine systems and our world-first, regenerative agricultural program. In addition, we are advancing information technology in our faculty’s teaching towards science and engineering to give students a head start in data science and real-world applications for “smart communities” and “smart environments”.

“Our forestry offerings were also recently ranked in the top four percent of universities in the world according to the QS Subject Rankings,” he said.

“And the latest Australian Research Excellence (ERA) results have given the University the highest possible rating of” well above the world standard “in its earth science research , geochemistry, oceanography, environmental sciences and management, ecology, zoology, agricultural sciences, crop and pastoral production, fisheries sciences, forestry sciences, civil engineering and resource engineering and extractive metallurgy.

Undergraduate science courses offered at Southern Cross University include Bachelor of Science, including with specializations in Earth and environmental systems, Forest systems, Marine systems, Regenerative agriculture; the Bachelor of Science with Honors and the Science degree.

Research on graduate degrees offered at Southern Cross includes the Master of Science (Environmental Sciences and Management), the Doctor of Philosophy (environmental sciences and management), as good as Graduate Certificate in Regenerative Agriculture.

This week, Southern Cross University was also ranked in the 2022 Times Higher Education World University Rankings by subject for social sciences, business and economics and education. Over the past month, the university has also been ranked in the fields of life sciences, clinical and health and psychology – with psychology rising from one place to the Top 400 worldwide.

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

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