It is followed by the University of Melbourne, ranked at 41, the University of New South Wales at 45, the University of Queensland at 47 and the University of Sydney at 50.
Monash University, with a rank of 60, and the University of Western Australia at 93 round out the seven Australian universities in the top 100.
An institution’s rank is determined by its academic and employer reputations, student-to-faculty ratio, citations per faculty, and international faculty and student ratios.
A total of 37 Australian Government universities are included in this year’s ranking, which covers 959 universities around the world and measures performance in research, teaching, employability and internationalisation.
“Global rankings are a major factor for many international students in deciding where to study, so they’re also very important to the $22.4 billion a year that international students bring into Australia’s economy,” Ms Robinson said.
“These impressive rises underscore the global competitiveness of Australia’s universities and the excellent quality of our education and research on the world stage.”
MIT has been described as “the nucleus of an unrivalled innovation ecosystem” by QS Quacquarelli Symonds, the education analysis firm behind the ranking, which notes that companies created by the university’s alumni have a combined revenue of $2 trillion, the equivalent of the world’s 11th largest economy.
Research director at QS Quacquarelli Symonds, Ben Sowter, said the improved ranking of Australian universities can be partially attributed to the changing political climate in countries such as the US and UK increasing Australia’s comparative popularity.
“Higher internationalisation scores certainly reflect coherent international outreach efforts made by university marketing departments,” Mr Sowter said. “However, they also reflect the increased desirability of Australian higher education in the light of current political situations in the United States and United Kingdom – typically Australia’s main Anglosphere competitors.
“Improvements in scores for Academic Reputation can be attributed to both the type of teaching innovations … and the standard of research emanating from Australia’s universities.”