Top universities in New Zealand | Top Universities

Top universities in New Zealand

By Keshala Jayawickrama

Updated December 19, 2023 Updated December 19, 2023

The University of Auckland continues to be the top university in New Zealand for 2024, beating seven other universities in the country to rank 68th in the world. 

Released today, the QS World University Rankings 2024 ranks the best universities in the world based on nine key indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty-student ratio, citations per faculty, international faculty, international students, international research network, employment outcomes and sustainability. 

Read on to find out which New Zealand universities made it into the rankings this year and view the full results of the QS World University Rankings 2024 here. You can also find out more about the methodology used to compile the rankings here

New Zealand Rank 

World Rank 



The University of Auckland 


University of Otago 


Massey University 


Victoria University of Wellington 


University of Waikato 


University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha 


Lincoln University 


Auckland University of Technology (AUT) 


8. Auckland University of Technology

Auckland University of Technology

Up an impressive thirty places this year, Auckland University of Technology (AUT) is now ranked joint 407th in the world.

Auckland University of Technology dates back to 1895 when it was originally founded as the Auckland Technical School and boasts of achieving the highest score among universities in New Zealand for the percentage of international students (48th in the world).  

7. Lincoln University

Lincoln University

Ranked joint 362nd in the world in 2024, Lincoln University was originally part of the University of Canterbury before formally separating to become an independent institution in 1990.  

Like AUT, it has received a remarkably high score for its percentage of international students, and is placed in the top 100 for agriculture and forestry according to the most recent QS World University Rankings by Subject.  

6. University of Canterbury

University of Canterbury

Climbing up from the previous year’s rank by 14 places, the University of Canterbury which is located in Christchurch on the South Island is ranked joint 256th this year in the world university rankings.

It is one of the oldest universities in New Zealand, having been established in 1873 as a constituent college of the University of New Zealand. Its student population now stands at roughly 13,400. 

5. University of Waikato

University of Waikato

After a drop in rank last year, the University of Waikato has again managed to be ranked 250th globally. The university has internationally recognised research capabilities and facilities across numerous disciplines and offers qualifications in a broad range of subject areas, 15 of which are recognised and individually ranked by QS.  

Primarily located on 65 hectares of park-like grounds in the city of Hamilton on the North Island, it also has a campus in Tauranga. 

4. Victoria University of Wellington

Victoria University of Wellington  

Victoria University of Wellington has come down a place from last year’s rank and is now placed fourth in the country, while ranking 241st in the world.

It earns its best indicator score for the percentage of international faculty members (88th in the world). It is also placed 42nd in the world for library and information management and 43rd for development studies, according to the most recent QS World University Rankings by Subject.  

3. Massey University

Massey University

This year’s QS World University Rankings sees Massey University climb 33 places to rank joint 239th in the world, overtaking the Victoria University of Wellington to place third among the top universities in New Zealand.  

Massey, located in the city of Palmerton North on the North Island, is the only university in the country offering programmes in aviation, dispute resolution, veterinary medicine, and nanoscience. 

2. University of Otago

University of Otago

Ranked 206th in the world in 2024, the University of Otago continues to rank second in the country and earns the highest score in New Zealand for its percentage of international faculty members (44th in the world).  

It is primarily located in Dunedin on the South Island and is the oldest university in the country, dating back to 1869. Today it has around 20,000 students, including 2,990 from outside New Zealand. 

1. The University of Auckland

The University of Auckland

The University of Auckland is ranked number one in the country once again in 2024, coming 68th in the world this year and earning its best indicator score for percentage of international faculty members.  

The largest institution in the country (with 27,800 students in 2024), the university appears in the global top 100 of the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 for 15 subjects including archaeology, education, civil and structural engineering, geography and sports-related subjects.   

This article was originally published in June 2020 . It was last updated in December 2023

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