Massey University has been given five-star ratings for its research, teaching, innovation, infrastructure and internationalisation.
Educational benchmarking agency Quacquarelli Symonds, known as QS Stars, evaluated the university's performance in a variety of criteria and gave it an overall rating of four stars out of five.
It received maximum scores for academic reputation and for the number of internally recognised academics on staff in the research criteria.
In the teaching criteria Massey received maximum scores for student satisfaction with teaching and overall student satisfaction.
Sporting facilities, medical facilities, student societies, IT infrastructure and Library facilities were awarded maximum scores in the infrastructure criteria.
In the advanced criteria of internationalisation – the number of international academic staff members, the number of institutional research collaborations, support systems for international students and the diversity of the international offering at Massey – each was awarded maximum scores.
In the innovation category of the advanced criteria Massey scored maximum points for have at least 50 current patents registered, five spin-off companies established in the past five years that are still operating successfully and independently, and at least 10 joint research projects with distinct non-university corporations in the past five years.
Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International) Professor Ingrid Day, who commissioned the evaluation, says it is a strong first-up result that demonstrates to students and research partners that Massey's core strengths – its teaching, research and the reputation and quality of its academic staff – are not only world-class, but also supported by a multi-campus infrastructure of superb facilities and student support systems.
"Those qualities of our staff, those facilities and support systems and the people behind them are the reasons our student satisfaction ratings top 80 per cent and we are leading winner of teaching awards and research prizes," Professor Day says.
The benchmarking measures the university not against other universities but against a set of standards QS Stars have devised for the sector. Professor Day says it has identified areas for improvement and several of these are being addressed in the overall Road to 2020 strategy and in the Internationalisation Strategy launched in November. Some of these are simply a matter of introducing ways to measure things that are already occurring, such as regional and community engagement and participation by staff and students in community activities. The evaluation is updated every three years. Professor Day says the University was close to achieving five stars in its first evaluation and she is confident it will attain that goal in 2014.
More information about the QS Stars ratings system is here.