Sydney now 18th globally in QS World University Rankings

The University of Sydney has secured its highest ever ranking overall and continues to be rated as a top 20 global university in the 2025 QS World University Rankings.

The University surpassed its previous result of 19th to be placed 18th globally, and 2nd in Australia in the prestigious QS rankings. 

The impressive result was due to the University’s strong performance in sustainability, academic reputation, employer reputation, citations to research papers and its international research network. 

For sustainability, the University kept its rank of 7th globally and first in Australia.

Vice-Chancellor and President,  Professor Mark Scott AO  said, "This exceptional result in these highly regarded rankings is a credit to all’our staff and an endorsement of the vision of our 2032 Strategy to champion sustainability and continue to achieve excellence in research, teaching, learning and the student experience.

"That commitment includes our unprecedented investment in recruiting the best early and mid-career researchers and educators from around the world with 40 Sydney Horizon Fellowships  and 220 Sydney Horizon Educators  and in the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator, a nation-leading biomedical precinct to fast-track research and patient care in New South Wales.

"It is only through these investments that we and other Australian universities can continue to be competitive and recognised on the world stage. 

"These results demonstrate again that Australian higher education is a global powerhouse."

Australia has three universities in the top 20, six in the top 50 and nine in the top 100 in the global rankings. 

The QS World University Rankings are among the most comprehensive rankings of their kind, and this year’s rankings feature 1,503 universities from 106 locations (from 5,663 institutions evaluated overall). 

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)  Professor Emma Johnston  said, "I congratulate our academics on this result, which follows hard on the heels of our strong performance in the 2024 QS World University Rankings by Subject, with six disciplines ranked in the global top 20 and 36 in the top 50." 

"Strong rankings reflect our well-established connections with critical stakeholders including government, industry and the community, as well as the important new discoveries we make and translate as our research community addresses pressing global challenges.

"I’m especially proud that our research is having such impressive global impact and, given my own background as an environmental scientist, that the University is first in Australia for sustainability." 

Examples of the University’s most recent sustainability research and engagement include:  

    establishing The  Net Zero Institute , which brings together more than 150 researchers across various disciplines to develop practical decarbonisation solutions , from extracting critical minerals from waste to net zero health and green computing 

    contributing to an MJA-Lancet Countdown report calling for urgent and sustainable action to safeguard against the health impacts of climate change

    the first musician and composer ever to be awarded an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship to communicate the urgency of climate change and lead social change through music. 

    geoscience research on critical restoration of Australian reefs , taking lessons from three oyster reefs

    examining how breastfeeding could be a valuable carbon offset, addressing our economic dependence on commercial milk formula, which causes excessive greenhouse gas emissions

    a new chemical engineering plasma technique, which turns methane emissions from landfill into sustainable jet fuel , that could help create a circular economy 

    a Nature study on unauthorised road building in tropical forests in South-East Asia, which found there were up to six times more actual roads than those recorded in official datasets

    an architectural study on more than 580,000 new homes in Australia, examining the relationship between big design and inefficient energy use

    a business school study on the most effective messaging to encourage ’green investment’ , attracting institutional investors to sustainable investments 

    the University’s One Tree Island Research Station, renowned for its research to save the Great Barrier Reef, which this year celebrates 50 years in operation

Find out why we’re no. 1 in Australia

Sustainability at Sydney

Two disciplines in the top ten and six in the top 20 in the QS Subject Rankings among strong results.

First space to open at the Sydney Biomedical Accelerator will allow researchers, clinicians and industry partners to generate ideas, form new partnerships and accelerate innovation.