Research performance and rankings

Victoria University of Wellington is ranked number one in New Zealand for research quality and is consistently recognised as high-performing internationally.

Our rankings

Victoria University of Wellington is proud to be in the top 1% of universities in the world for 19 subjects and in the top 2% of universities overall. There are more than 18,000 universities worldwide and the 2019 QS World University Rankings by Subject rank the top institutions.

We received five stars from the international QS Stars University Rating in each of the eight categories: research, arts and culture, discipline ranking and accreditations, employability, facilities, inclusiveness, internationalisation and teaching.

Leading the research field

Victoria University of Wellington has a larger proportion of its academics conducting high-quality research than any other university in New Zealand.

The most recent Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) quality evaluation of New Zealand universities shows the University has 864 staff actively involved in research and 66 percent of those are operating at the highest levels (rated either A or B).

The University has more A-rated researchers than any other New Zealand university in eight subject areas:

  • Earth Sciences
  • English Language and Literature
  • Foreign Languages and Linguistics
  • History, History of Art, Classics and Curatorial Studies
  • Music, Literary Arts and Other Arts
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science, International Relations and Public Policy
  • Theatre and Dance, Film, TV and Multimedia.

Our Faculty of Law is the number one law school in New Zealand for both its proportion of A-ranked researchers and A- and B-ranked researchers combined.

The University is in the top three universities for its number of A-rated researchers for subjects such as:

  • Computer Science, IT and Information Sciences
  • Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour
  • Law
  • Māori Knowledge and Development
  • Molecular, Cellular and Whole Organism Biology
  • Pure and Applied Mathematics
  • Sociology, Social Policy, Social Work, Criminology and Gender Studies.

Victoria University of Wellington’s outstanding PBRF performance in humanities and social sciences reflects its robust commitment to these disciplines, which are crucial to the University’s vision of cultivating global citizens capable of critical and creative thinking.

Global recognition

Victoria Business School (VBS) leads the world as one of an elite group of commerce faculties worldwide that hold the Triple Crown of international accreditations of EQUIS, AACSB (Business) and AMBA. One of the subjects it offers—Library and Information Management—is at 24, demonstrating excellence in a specialist field of increasing importance in a world driven by big data.

In total, thirteen subjects at the University are in the top 100 of the QS rankings: Communication and Media Studies, Development Studies, Earth and Marine Sciences, English Language and Literature, Geography, Law, Library and Information Management, Linguistics, Mineral and Mining Engineering, Performing Arts, Politics and International Studies, Psychology, Religious Studies (called Theology, Divinity and Religious Studies in the QS rankings).

Six of those subjects sit within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. In addition to that and the overall ranking for the arts and humanities (73=), another four subjects taught in the Faculty are ranked in the top 150 in the world. They are Archaeology (within Te Kawa a Māui/School of Māori Studies); History; Philosophy; and Sociology.

Four of the University’s top 100 subjects sit within the Faculty of Science—Development Studies, Earth and Marine Sciences, Geography and Psychology.