ACU's research rankings success

A message from the Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven:

I am pleased to announce that ACU has performed exceptionally in both the latest Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) Subject Rankings and the CWTS Leiden Rankings.

These achievements highlight ACU’s strategic and cumulative growth in quality research at a national and international level.

ARWU Subject Rankings

ACU has been ranked for seven subjects in the 2020 ARWU Subject Rankings, and our overall position has improved in each of the subject areas in which we’ve previously ranked.

Each of the results, below, marks the highest ranking ACU has achieved in these subject areas in the history of ARWU assessments:

  • Nursing – 18th in the world (up from 32nd)
  • Education – 56th in the world (up from 63rd)
  • Psychology – 177th in the world (up from 206th)
  • Hospitality – 200th (up from 226th)
  • Clinical Medicine – 373rd (up from 458th)
  • Public Health – 398th (up from 449th)
  • Human Biological Sciences – 482nd (not previously ranked)

Also known as the Shanghai Ranking, ARWU ranks world universities in 54 subjects across natural sciences, engineering, life sciences, medical sciences, and social sciences. It’s the only reputable ranking system that focuses on research and employs only objective measures of performance, making it truly reliable and transparent in its assessment.

ACU’s progress in these rankings is an exceptional achievement, and it showcases the university’s strength in our priority areas of research. The results indicate our improved performance both nationally and internationally, as well as our standing among Catholic universities worldwide.

Leiden Rankings

Our university has also entered the (CWTS) Leiden Ranking for the first time. Results, released this month, show we have a higher proportion of high-quality papers than any other Australian university across all assessment areas, as well as in two specific research fields: social sciences and the humanities, and biomedical and health sciences.

Leiden ranks the scientific impact, collaboration, open access publishing, and gender diversity of 1,176 institutions from 65 countries across five scientific fields. It allows smaller universities to compare their research quality with larger universities, as it measures the proportion of high-quality research papers a university releases – not simply the quantity.

The Leiden Ranking shows that, of the research papers ACU publishes, 13.7 per cent are in the world’s top 10 per cent based on the number of citations by other researchers – putting ACU second after UTS for Australian universities on the research quality measure.

I would like to thank all staff who have contributed to these achievements, including our exceptional research staff in our research institutes and schools, and staff in the Office of Planning and Strategic Management (OPSM) whose activities support the ranking process.

Looking ahead to Semester 2

ACU’s Virtual Orientation is running this week, and I would like to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of our staff in adapting this essential student event to an online environment.

We are looking forward to welcoming students to our online and, where appropriate, on-campus spaces when Semester 2 starts next week.

As on-campus activities resume on all campuses aside from Melbourne and Ballarat, the safety, wellbeing and success of staff and students is our priority. I remind you of our shared responsibility for maintaining good hygiene and physical distancing, including staying at home when unwell.

I extend my support to all staff, and particularly those who are in lockdown. This is a tough time, but I know you will respond with resilience. We will get through this together as we have in the past.


Professor Greg Craven AO, GCSG
Vice-Chancellor and President

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