The University of Sydney

University of Sydney

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The University of Sydney were ranked 45 in the world in the 2015-16 prestigious QS World University Rankings.

It’s testimony to the broad spectrum of strengths displayed across our 16 faculties, many of which have impressive rankings themselves.

Leading the University’s results were Arts and Humanities, which achieved a rank of equal 14th globally and second in Australia.

Both Life Sciences and Medicine and Social Sciences and Management were ranked 20th in the world, with Life Sciences and Medicine also maintaining their standing as second in Australia for the third year running.

The multi-disciplinary strength of the University’s research was confirmed in the QS results, with Engineering and Technology, Natural Sciences and Social Science and Management all ranked in the top five for their disciplines in Australia, each receiving a ranking of third domestically. Engineering and Technology also rose 14 places in the rankings from joint 44th to joint 30th globally.

QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016

The University of Sydney were ranked among the world’s elite institutions, with 41 of the 42 subjects assessed achieving a rating in the top 100 globally in the QS World University Rankings by Subject.

Thirty-two of our subjects were ranked in the top 50 globally, of which nine were ranked in the top 20.

Veterinary Science was ranked ninth in the world and number one in Australia, while three other subjects also shared the number one national ranking – Architecture/Built Environment (17 globally), Medicine (17), and Nursing (13).

The prestigious rankings are regarded as the most comprehensive global comparison of universities at individual subject level.

The results highlighted the University’s strengths in subjects across all the disciplines ranked, including Law (11), Education (16), Accounting and Finance (18), Geography (22), English Language and Literature (20) and Engineering – Civil and Structural (20). For the first time, Philosophy entered the top 50 globally with a rank of 37 worldwide.

QS Graduate World University Rankings 2016

The University of Sydney topped the list of Australian universities in the inaugural QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2016, and was also rated in the top 15 globally with a rank of 14.

The rankings mapped more than 30,000 people to identify the educational background of the world’s most employable people.

Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015

The 2015 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, which prioritises research citations, research income, reputation and learning environment, ranked us at 56 out of more than 1100 universities around the world.

THE World University Rankings are the only global university performance tables to judge universities across all of their core missions, including citations, research, teaching, international outlook and industry income. The annual rankings measure factors including academic reputation, citation statistics, international mix, and research income and degrees awarded per staff.

The University of Sydney’s rise in the 2015-16 rankings was driven by increases in all indicators, with the largest rises in academic reputation, which jumped 24 percent, and citations which saw a 12 percent increase. Research and industry income also both climbed more than 10 percent.

The Times Higher Education University Rankings are published by the UK’s leading global provider of rankings and statistics on the world’s higher education sector.

Times Higher Education 2015 Global Employability University Rankings

The University of Sydney were ranked 42 in the world and number one in New South Wales in the 2015 Times Higher Education Global Employability University Rankings.

The ranking was created from the combined votes of 2,200 recruiters and 2,400 managing directors of international companies across 21 countries.

Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings

We were ranked among the top 100 most prestigious universities in the world in the 2016 Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings.

With a global ranking of 61-70, we retained our position as third in Australia, and one of only three universities nationally to be included in the list. Harvard University topped the rankings, which are dominated by United States-based institutions.

The annual rankings are created by canvassing the views of more than 10,300 respondents, in 133 countries, about which institutions are the best in their field for research and teaching.

US News & World Report Best Global Universities Rankings

The University of Sydney were ranked 51 in the 2015–16 US News & World Report Best Global Universities Rankings.

We were also ranked number one in Australia in Clinical Medicine and Physics, and Arts and Humanities were ranked in the top 20 globally.

US News uses the Thomson-Reuters database to rank the top 750 institutions globally. It includes 12 indicators ranging from research reputation and PhD statistics to highly cited papers statistics and international collaboration. It also includes other bibliometric statistics on publications, citations, books and conferences.

Not just bright… but beautiful

We don’t just rank highly for academic achievement; our main Camperdown/Darlington campus is regularly recognised as one of the most beautiful in the world.

The UK’s Daily Telegraph placed us at number 10 in its Beautiful Universities List, and we’re number nine in the The Huffington Post’s top 15 run down.

Meanwhile, Sydney itself gets a nod. In the QS Best Student Cities, which is based on affordability, quality of living, employer activity and diversity of students, it’s ranked first in Australia and fourth worldwide.

And in 2014, global consulting firm AT Kearney’s Global Cities Index put Sydney ahead of 83 cities as the world’s most popular city to study in for international students.

Each year the city welcomes 50,000 visiting students, with around 35,000 studying on campuses in the City of Sydney area.

Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties

Agriculture and Environment

  • Centre for Carbon Water and Food
  • Plant Breeding Institute
  • Precision Agricultural Laboratory
  • Pulsford Laboratory
  • Hydrology and Geo-Information Sciences Laboratory

Architecture, Design and Planning

Arts and Social Sciences

  • School of Economics
  • School of Literature, Art, and Media
  • School of Languages and Cultures
  • School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry
  • School of Social and Political Sciences

Business (The University of Sydney Business School)

  • Discipline of Accounting
  • Discipline of Business Analytics
  • Discipline of Business Information Systems
  • Discipline of Business Law
  • Discipline of Finance
  • Discipline of International Business
  • Discipline of Marketing
  • Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies
  • Business Education
  • Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS)


Education and Social Work

Engineering and Information Technologies

  • School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering
  • School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • School of Civil Engineering
  • School of Electrical and Information Engineering
  • School of Information Technologies

Health Sciences

  • Discipline of Behavioural and Social Sciences in Health
  • Discipline of Exercise and Sport Science
  • Discipline of Medical Radiation Sciences
  • Discipline of Occupational Therapy
  • Discipline of Physiotherapy
  • Discipline of Rehabilitation Counselling
  • Discipline of Speech Pathology

Law (The University of Sydney Law School)

Medicine (The University of Sydney Medical School)


  • Central Clinical School
  • The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Clinical School
  • Concord Clinical School
  • Nepean Clinical School
  • Northern Clinical School
  • School of Medical Sciences
  • School of Public Health
  • School of Rural Health
  • Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical School
  • Westmead Clinical School


  • Discipline of Addiction Medicine
  • Discipline of Anaesthesia
  • Discipline of Anatomy and Histology
  • Discipline of Biomedical Science
  • Discipline of Brain and Mind Sciences (Brain and Mind Centre)
  • Discipline of Clinical Ophthalmology and Eye Health
  • Discipline of Dermatology
  • Discipline of Ear, Nose and Throat
  • Discipline of Emergency Medicine
  • Discipline of General Practice
  • Discipline of Genetic Medicine
  • Discipline of Medical Imaging
  • Discipline of Intensive Care Medicine
  • School of Molecular Bioscience
  • Discipline of Medicine
  • Discipline of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology
  • Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health
  • Discipline of Pathology
  • Discipline of Pharmacology
  • Discipline of Physiology
  • Discipline of Psychiatry
  • Discipline of Sleep Medicine
  • Discipline of Surgery

Nursing and Midwifery (Sydney Nursing School)




  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • School of Chemistry
  • School of Geosciences
  • School of Life and Environmental Sciences
    • Agriculture and Environment
    • Biological Sciences
    • Molecular Bioscience
    • Veterinary Science
  • School of Mathematics and Statistics
  • School of Physics
  • School of Psychology

Sydney College of the Arts

Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Veterinary Science


In 2001, the University of Sydney chancellor, Dame Leonie Kramer, was forced to resign by the university’s governing body. In 2003, Nick Greiner, a former Premier of New South Wales, resigned from his position as chair of the university’s Graduate School of Management because of academic protests against his simultaneous chairmanship of British American Tobacco (Australia). Subsequently, his wife, Kathryn Greiner, resigned in protest from the two positions she held at the university as chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation and a member of the executive council of the Research Institute for Asia and the Pacific. In 2005, the Public Service Association of New South Wales and the Community and Public Sector Union were in dispute with the university over a proposal to privatise security at the main campus (and the Cumberland campus).

In February 2007, the university agreed to acquire a portion of the land granted to St John’s College to develop the Sydney Institute of Health and Medical Research. As a Roman Catholic institution, in handing over the land St John’s placed limitations on the type of medical research which could be conducted on the premises, seeking to preserve the essence of the college’s mission. This caused concern among some groups, who argued that it would interfere with scientific medical research. However, this was rejected by the university’s administration because the building was not intended for this purpose and there were many other facilities in close proximity where such research could take place.

At the start of 2010, the university controversially adopted a new logo. It retains the same university arms, however it takes on a more modern look. There have been stylistic changes, the main one being the coat of arm’s mantling, the shape of the escutcheon(shield), the removal of the motto scroll, and also others more subtle within the arms itself, such as the mane and fur of the lion, the number of lines in the open book and the colouration. The original Coat of Arms from 1857 continues to be used for ceremonial and other formal purposes, such as on testamurs.

Action initiated by Spence to improve the financial sustainability of the university has alienated some students and staff. In 2012, Spence led efforts to cut the university’s expenditure to address the financial impact of a slowdown in international student enrolments across Australia. This included redundancies of a number of university staff and faculty, though some at the university argued that the institution should cut back on building programs instead. Critics argue the push for savings has been driven by managerial incompetence and indifference, fuelling industrial action during a round of enterprise bargaining in 2013 that also reflected widespread concerns about public funding for higher education.

An internal staff survey in 2012/13, which found widespread dissatisfaction with how the university is being managed. Asked to rate their level of agreement with a series of statements about the university, 19 per cent of those surveyed believed “change and innovation” were handled well by the university. In the survey, 75 per cent of university staff indicated senior executives were not listening to them, while only 22 per cent said change was handled well and 33 per cent said senior executives were good role models.

In the first week of semester, some staff passed a motion of no confidence in Spence because of concerns he was pushing staff to improve the budget while he received a performance bonus of $155,000 that took his total pay to $1 million, in the top 0.1 per cent of income earners in Australia. Fairfax media reports Spence and other Uni bosses have salary packages worth ten times more than staff salaries and double that of the Prime Minister.

Concerns about public funding for higher education were reflected again in 2014 following the federal government’s proposal to deregulate student fees. The university held a wide-ranging consultation process, which included a “town hall meeting” at the university’s Great Hall 25 August 2014, where an audience of students, staff and alumni expressed deep concern about the government’s plans and called on university leadership to lobby against the proposals.] Spence took a leading position among Australian vice-chancellors in repeatedly calling throughout 2014 for any change to funding to not undermine equitable access to university while arguing for fee deregulation to raise course costs for the majority of higher education students.

During Spence’s term, the university has attracted scorn for allowing students from an elite private school, Scots College, to enter university via a “pathway of privilege” by means of enrolling in a Diploma of Tertiary Preparation rather than meeting HSC entry requirements. The university charged students $12,000 to take the course and have since admitted a number of students to degree courses. Exposed by Fairfax media, the scheme has been criticised by Phillip Heath, the national chairman of the Association of Heads of independent schools of Australia.

An investigation by Fairfax Media in 2015 revealed widespread cheating at universities across NSW, including the University of Sydney. The university established a taskforce on academic misconduct in April 2015 to maintain its leadership position in preventing incidences of cheating and academic misconduct.

An recent investigation by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) exposed corporate deals between the Veterinary Faculty and large pet food companies had resulted in the withholding of harmful cat food product tested to protect corporate sponsors.

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