Top Universities in New Zealand 2018 | Top Universities

Top Universities in New Zealand 2018

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Sabrina Collier

Updated Jun 25, 2019



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Click here to view the latest version of this article, based on the QS World University Rankings® 2020.

Eight top universities in New Zealand are included among the world’s best in the QS World University Rankings® 2018, of which five are in the global top 300 – with several institutions improving their positions this year.

1. University of Auckland

University of Auckland

Ranked joint 82nd this year, the University of Auckland is consistently the highest-ranked of these top universities in New Zealand. It’s also the largest and most comprehensive university in the country, with more than 40,000 students enrolled at six campuses and eight faculties. Five of its campuses are in New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, and the sixth is located in the country’s northernmost city, Whangarei.

2. University of Otago

University of Otago

The University of Otago climbs 18 places this year to now rank 151st in the world. The country’s oldest university (established in 1869), Otago is based in the city of Dunedin on the South Island. It has around 20,800 students enrolled, and is noted for its attractive architecture and gardens, earning it regular inclusion on lists of the world’s most beautiful universities. 

3. University of Canterbury

University of Canterbury

The University of Canterbury is ranked 214th in the world this year and is another of the oldest universities in New Zealand, founded in 1873 as Canterbury College. Located in Christchurch, the South Island’s largest city, the university hosts around 14,900 students, 1,100 of which are international.

4. Victoria University of Wellington

Victoria University of Wellington

Located in New Zealand’s capital city Wellington, Victoria University of Wellington is up nine places this year to now rank 219th in the world. Founded in 1897, the university offers a broad range of programs, and is considered particularly strong for law, the humanities and social sciences.

5. University of Waikato

University of Waikato

Another university on the rise this year is the University of Waikato, climbing an impressive 32 places to now rank 292nd in the world. Mainly located in the city of Hamilton on the North Island, the university was established in 1964 as the first New Zealand university to be designed from a blank canvas.

6. Massey University

Massey University

Massey University climbs 24 spots in this year’s ranking and is now joint 316th in the world alongside China’s Tongji University. Massey is known for the applied nature of its programs and close links to the community, and is the only university in New Zealand to offer programs in aviation, dispute resolution, veterinary medicine, and nanoscience.

7. Lincoln University

Lincoln University

Lincoln University continues to improve its position in this year’s ranking, climbing 24 spots to rank joint 319th in the world, sharing this position with two other universities. Lincoln specializes in improving New Zealand’s land-based knowledge, wealth and productivity, and is ranked among the global top 50 for agriculture & forestry.

8. Auckland University of Technology

Auckland University of Technology

Ranked 441-450 in the world, Auckland University of Technology (AUT) is the final of these top universities in New Zealand. Originally founded in 1895 as Auckland Technical School, AUT was granted university status in 2000. AUT receives the highest rank of any New Zealand university (29th) for its international student ratio.

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