Research

Australian universities among global best for oncology


The University of Sydney and University of Melbourne have been been ranked among the top 100 global institutions for academic excellence in oncology and cancer research.

The universities feature in the US News Best Global Universities Rankings based on assessments for 2,000 top academic institutions across 95 countries.

In the listings, Sydney University ranked 13th and Melbourne University ranked 35th.

The University of Queensland fell just outside the top 100, tying for 108th place with the University of Alberta in Canada.

The rankings are based on research performance via indicators such as the number of scholarly papers, books and highly cited papers as well as international collaborations.

Universities are also graded on graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, social mobility and undergraduate academic reputation, among other measures.

According to the list, the top five global institutions for oncology are Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Cornell University, University of California – San Francisco and the University of Toronto.

Harvard was also ranked best global university overall and number one in subjects including cell biology, endocrinology, immunology and economics.

The release of this year’s results comes amid ongoing debate over the rankings – which are regularly described in the media as the world’s most influential – and allegations that some institutions have falsified data to improve their score.

Controversially, Columbia University dropped from 2nd place last year to 18th in this year’s edition, after one of its mathematics academics, Professor Michael Thaddeus, accused the school of submitting statistics that were “inaccurate, dubious or highly misleading”.

He told the New York Times in September (link here): “The broader lesson everyone should keep in mind is that US News has shown its operations are so shoddy that both of them are meaningless.”

“If any institution can decline from No. 2 to No. 18 in a single year, it just discredits the whole ranking operation.”

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