Rankings for universities in capital cities Melbourne, Sydney, and Adelaide all plummeted.
Australian universities have fallen dramatically in the newly released Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
In Victoria, the University of Melbourne was ranked Australia’s top University, sliding three places to 37th in the world.
Monash University cascaded 10 places to 54th in the world, while the University of Adelaide tumbled 23 places to 111th in the world.
Alarm Bells Ring
Times Higher Education chief global affairs officer Phil Baty said the figures provide a “serious” warning sign to the nation.
“The relative isolation of the country during the pandemic is showing up in the data, to detrimental effect on universities’ ranking positions,” he said.
“Real attention is needed to ensure Australia continues to be open to international talent, which includes the right policy incentives as competition for international talent heats up.
“In addition, while the rankings show Australia has historically very high levels of research quality, current figures show a relative under-investment in research, which sends a clear red-light warning.”
Australia’s international borders were closed with limited exemptions from the onset of the pandemic until February 21, 2022.
Globally, the University of Oxford was ranked the number one institution in the world, followed by Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Seven universities in the United States were among the top ten universities in the world.
Harvard ranked fourth in the world, while Yale University was number 10 globally.
Tsinghua University in China came in at 12 in the world, while Peking University was ranked 14th.
Australian Universities React
In Australia, the University of Sydney celebrated jumping one spot in domestic rankings and being rated the top university in New South Wales and third in Australia.
University of Sydney is hosting the Times Higher Education Academic World Summit this week.
Deputy vice-chancellor research Professor Emma Johnston noted the university rated was highly on research.
“It is satisfying that the University of Sydney’s highest-ranked pillar is the research environment, previously referred to as research, which saw us move from 62nd to 54th internationally,” she said.
“We scored especially highly on the research quality pillar which is measured by research strength, excellence, and impact and by citation impact.”
The University of Melbourne said it remains the top-ranked Australian university in three major global rankings.
Vice-chancellor Duncan Maskell highlighted the University’s standing as “one of the world’s leading research universities.”
“The University of Melbourne’s exceedingly high scores in all of the research-related indicators reflects the outstanding work of the staff at the University and its affiliated institutions,” he said.
“Our staff’s pursuit of research excellence is why the University of Melbourne continues to be recognized as one of the world’s finest research universities.”
AAP contributed to this report