Report confirms Western Sydney University research rated among the world’s best

Sebastian Pfautsch 

Western Sydney University has more than tripled its number of '5' ratings and achieved its best ever research evaluation in the latest Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) round.

Released today, the ERA is a nationwide assessment of Australia's research performance.

The University's research in 11 disciplines (4-digit Fields of Research) all scored '5' ratings in the 2015 results, meaning they ranked "well above world standard" – the highest ranking possible.

The '5' ratings were: applied mathematics; ecological applications; soil sciences; ecology; plant biology; forestry sciences; materials engineering; complementary and alternative medicine; oncology and carcinogenesis; pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences; and cultural studies.

Research areas (4-digit Fields of Research) to also receive a rating of '4', meaning they are "above world standard", were: macromolecular and materials chemistry; microbiology; civil engineering; electrical and electronic engineering; nursing; public health and health services; human geography; psychology; linguistics and historical studies.

The overall ERA performance means that 80 per cent of Western Sydney University research is now ranked world standard or above.

"These results confirm what we in the University already know: we are a world-leading, research-led university, making a real difference to people's lives and communities through our research capabilities," says Vice-Chancellor Professor Barney Glover.

"The opportunities we offer our students are underpinned by the world's best research. These outstanding ERA results cap off what has been a wonderful year for Western Sydney University."

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Development), Professor Scott Holmes, says the University's innovative, dynamic approach to tackling some of the nation's most pressing research challenges is what sets it apart from its contemporaries.

"We are a young university and prepared to do things differently. Quality research is the first step. Many universities stop there, however, we are a university that takes its high quality research and makes an impact."

Professor Holmes highlighted the work of the University's Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, which is researching the impact of climate change and providing crucial insights into how Australia's environment is able to adapt to rising temperatures and increasing atmospheric carbon.

"The Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment is leading the world. It received a total of five '5' ratings in the disciplines to which it contributes research, which is an outstanding result," says Professor Holmes.

"The Institute's unique research facilities are some of the largest and most complex in the world. Its scientists are producing highly-respected research that is focused on understanding the effects of climate change on Australia's precious land resources and how to best manage them.

"It's the kind of research that can only be done by a university that combines quality research with impact."

Visit Research Unlimited for more information about Western Sydney University's ERA results for 2015.


4 December 2015

Amanda Whibley, Manager Media and Public Relations

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