Massey's agriculture programme is 21st in the world in Quacquarelli Symonds' (QS) world university subject rankings made public yesterday.
It is the third-highest ranked agriculture programme in the southern hemisphere, with only the University of Queensland and Brazil's Universidade Estadual de Campinas ranked higher. No other New Zealand university's agriculture programme ranks in the top 200.
Subject rankings are based on a university's reputation among academics and employers. Overall rankings and broad subject area rankings, which are released in September each year, are based on reputation plus additional criteria – the percentage of international staff and students a university has, its ratio of academics to students and the frequency that papers by its academics are cited in other academics' papers.
Of the 20,000 universities worldwide, QS says it considers just 700 for its rankings. Massey had an overall ranking of 308 last year (compared to 329 in 2011) and in eight broad subject areas it ranks in the top 200.
QS publishes narrow subject area rankings each May. Last year, when the narrow subject areas included education for the first time, it became Massey's top ranked subject at 50th in the world. This year agriculture is separately ranked for the first time.
The other narrow subject areas in which Massey is ranked highly are accounting and finance (top 100), biology (top 200), communication and media studies (top 150), economics and econometrics (top 150), education (top 100), psychology (top 150), sociology (top 200).
Massey Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey says the ranking in agriculture confirms that Massey's teaching and research is world-class. "This is a remarkable outcome and it validates our commitment to promoting the highest standards of research and scholarship and leading the world in areas of specialisation," Mr Maharey says.
"It is also a testament to the performance and dedication of talented staff and the efforts Massey has always made to connect with the farming and food production sector to produce graduates and the research that keeps New Zealand at the forefront."
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