More staff needed to lift world rankings

Posted By TEU on Sep 8, 2011 |

If universities are truly concerned about their ranking in international surveys they need to invest in staff according to TEU national president Sandra Grey.

QS World University Rankings 2011/2012 released this week show five of six surveyed New Zealand universities falling down an international rankings ladder.

Dr Grey says it is important to note that 20 percent of the QS’s criteria for evaluating universities is the staff:student ratio.

“While it is hard for New Zealand universities to have much control over some of the other criteria which are so closely linked to global reputation, the one we have instant control over is our staff:student ratios,” said Dr Grey. “In New Zealand those ratios have climbed steadily in recent years, and the result is our universities’ global rankings are sliding.”

“The University of Auckland, New Zealand’s highest ranked university in the survey has an overall ranking of 82 but its staff:student ratio is not even within the top 300. The situation is similar for our other universities.”

QS said of staff:student ratios that they are the “only globally comparable and available indicator that has been identified to address the stated objective of evaluating teaching quality”.

QS said while there are some concerns with the use of the staff:student ratio indicator “it does speak to the notion of ‘commitment to teaching‘”.

“The current government is not investing in education, and universities are responding by hiding those cuts with larger tutorials, lectures and class sizes,” said Dr Grey.

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