UWA 2020 Vision notes: 'A world-class university serves its communities not only by the excellence of its education and research activities and outcomes, but through its broader contribution to the intellectual, cultural and social life of those communities, locally, nationally and internationally'. UWA does this by engaging with:

  • business, industry and the professions
  • government at local, state and national levels
  • its alumni around the world
  • the arts and scientific communities
  • a variety of constituencies such as parents, schools, local residents, and collaborators around the world

The feedback from business, government and the community allows UWA to focus and align its activities with community need, and provides the greatest opportunity for its research and education to find application and use.

Strategic goal

The strategic goal is for the University to be recognised for the strong and mutually beneficial relationships it has forged with its stakeholders.


UWA undertakes research across all disciplines focused on issues of relevance to its communities and industries while generating understanding and solutions of global value, and offers high-quality research training principally through its higher degrees by research programs.

Key performance indicators

Achievement of this goal will be measured by the following indicator:

Indicator 3.1 International ranking

UWA's placement in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) as well as the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) and the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings provides an effectiveness indicator of how well the University is progressing towards its vision of being recognised as one of the world's top 50 global universities by 2050.

In the 2014 Annual Report, UWA's academic reputation rank in the QS World University Rankings was used for this indicator. Given the importance of international rankings, the 2015 KPIs have been refined to include the three most influential international rankings, to provide a more robust reflection of the University's comparative performance. Further, the overall QS rank rather than the academic reputational rank has been used in 2015, as it provides a more holistic view of the University's performance in both teaching and research. Figures provided for previous years in the table below have been updated to reflect this change in indicator.

The table below shows that the University improved its ranking in the ARWU by one place. In part, due to a decrease in weighting given to citations for life and natural science publications, fields of research where UWA excels, UWA's QS rank dropped by nine places to 98th. In 2015 THE changed citation data providers and thus the methodology used to attribute citations to universities. This resulted in UWA obtaining a higher number of citations than in previous years. Due to this methodology change, THE recommends direct comparisons between the 2015 rank and that of previous years' should not be made.

International rank, 2011 to 2015

  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2015 target
ARWU  102–105  =96(a) 91  =88(a) =87(a) 81–85 
QS  73  79  84  89  98(b) 81–85 
THE  =189(a) =190(a) 168  =157(a) 109(c) 150–155 

(a) '=' represents tied ranked position.
(b) A change in methodology resulted in institutions with a focus on the life and natural sciences (such as UWA) ranking lower compared to previous years due to a decrease in weighting given to this field of research.
(c) In 2015 THE changed citation data providers and thus direct comparisons between the 2015 rank and that of previous years should not be made.

Source: Academic Ranking of World Universities, QS Top Universities, World University Rankings.