The University of Wollongong (UOW) has surged 10 spots to be ranked number 33 in the annual Times Higher Education (THE) 100 Under 50 ranking of the world’s best young universities 2014.
The THE 100 Under 50 complements the annual THE World University Rankings, which will be released in October, and the THE World Reputation Rankings, which are published in March. The THE 100 Under 50 lists the world’s best 100 universities under the age of 50.
UOW became an independent university in Australia in 1975, while University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) has been operating in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since 1993. UOWD now offers 25 nationally accredited, internationally recognised degree programs, all reflecting the quality standards of the Australian institution.
Within the Gulf and the broader Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region two institutions from Iran and one from Saudi Arabia were successful in making the top 100. Sharif University of Technology from Iran coming in at 27, King Abdulaziz University from Saudi Arabia coming in at 71, and Isfahan University of Technology from Iran coming in at 92.
UOW Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Wellings, said, “The announcement just made in London was a ringing endorsement of UOW as a research intensive university with a strong commitment to its students and community at all its teaching locations. UOW currently offers more than 23 degrees at 8 locations across the globe.”
Professor Wellings said, “In less than 40 years the University of Wollongong has become a benchmark for Australia’s new generation of universities. An important ingredient to the University’s success has been the development of an excellent and loyal workforce at all its national and international teaching locations and campuses.” “First, the staff needs to be signed up to the institution’s strategy and priorities, rather than being fixed on disciplinary loyalties. Second, successful new universities have to demonstrate outstanding attraction and retention policies and practices. The best staff lives in a ‘seller’s market’. They need to be certain that spending part of their career at a newish university in the process of building its reputation is both invigorating and a good use of their intellectual powers,” Wellings added.
He said, “UOW routinely rates among the top Australian universities in key areas including teaching quality, graduate satisfaction and graduate starting salaries which can be significantly attributed to its excellent staff from a diverse and varied cultural background and their commitment to the student experience.”
One of UOW’s great attributes has also been its ability to be flexible and be more responsive to regional economic circumstances and national imperatives. “To be successful, universities must have a clear mechanism to identify priorities and research strengths, and to position them in the context of national priorities and competitive funding streams. This approach can have a marked effect on the fabric of the institution,” Professor Wellings said.
“Many of our researchers are leaders in their fields, nationally and internationally, while our research institutes have important global collaborative partnerships,” he added.