ACU climbs world university rankings

Australian Catholic University (ACU) is now ranked in the 251–300 band on Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021, holding its place in the top 2 per cent of universities in the world.1

This is the university’s fifth year of improvement since entering the rankings in 2016.

The result saw ACU skip the 301–350 band entirely, driven by significant increases in citations and research productivity scores.

ACU’s rise to prominence includes THE recognition for the following:

  • Ranked in the top 80 in the Asia-Pacific region3.
  • Ranked 251-300 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings1.
  • Ranked as one of the top 70 young universities in the world4.
  • Included in the top 25 of Generation Y universities4.
  • One of the top 10 Catholic universities globally5.

Times Higher Education (THE) has conducted rankings for 17 years. The THE World University Rankings compare 1,527 institutions from 93 countries, drawing on data points on almost 2,000 of the world’s leading research universities and more than 22,000 academic reputation survey responses. The survey analyses 13.6 million research publications and over 86 million citations over five years, based on bibliometric data from Elsevier.

The rankings success follows the latest Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) survey released this week that shows ACU has the highest longitudinal employment rate for both undergraduates and postgraduates at 95.5 per cent and 98.6 per cent respectively, confirming the university’s place as a leading contributor to skilling Australia’s workforce. 2

ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Craven said it was encouraging to see that the strong results reflected the university’s focus on excellence in teaching and improved outcomes for students.

“These positive outcomes are a result of an unwavering focus on an enduring commitment to training job-ready graduates who are fully prepared to embark on or progress their careers, and also on our efforts to advance ACU’s research profile in alignment with its areas of strategic priority: education, health, theology, philosophy and liberal arts.

“A university education is more valuable than ever before, and we have worked hard to enrich the experience for our students from the moment they look into what ACU courses they can apply for, throughout their studies, their practical experience and well beyond the conferral of their testamur. It is no accident that our students and alumni continue to embody ACU’s values and mission and are deeply engaged with their communities while at university and well into their professional and personal lives.”

Satisfaction surveys consistently rank ACU highly with employers, students and graduates.

The 2020 GOS-L is part of the QILT survey suite which measures the medium-term outcomes of higher education graduates based on an analysis of around 40,000 graduates who responded to the 2017 Graduate Outcomes Survey (GOS). The GOS-L is conducted three years post completion of studies.

For further details about ACU’s reputation and rankings, visit

* Percentage calculated as ACU’s world rank as a proportion of the total number of universities in the world: International Handbook of Universities 2019, Palgrave MacMillan
  1. Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021, with percentage calculated as ACU's world rank as a proportion of the total number of universities worldwide
  2. Graduate Outcomes Survey – Longitudinal 2020, full-time employment`
  3. Times Higher Education Asia-Pacific University Rankings 2020
  4. Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2020, where “young universities” are defined to be less than 50 years old and “Generation Y universities” are universities established between 1986 and 1999
  5. Based on International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU) members ranked on Times Higher EducationWorld University Rankings 2021

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