[From The Australian, 12 October 2011]
TARGETED, regionally relevant research and two decades of dedicated funding from the Northern Territory government have seen Charles Darwin University catapult into world university rankings.
The tiny Darwin-based dual sector institution with just 4000 higher education students came from nowhere to land at 306 in last week’s Times Higher Education World University Ranking.
Barney Glover, vice-chancellor of CDU, said the university’s highly cited, high-quality research in environmental sciences, tropical medicine and indigenous health and well-being were behind its upward trajectory.
“We are very research intensive, but we are not very large, so in aggregate terms, it doesn’t stand out. But when you normalise for size, we do particularly well, particularly on citation performance,” Professor Glover said.
He noted on a recent Thomson Reuters citation count, CDU ranked 129th in the world for environmental science.
Professor Glover said CDU’s performance was also outstanding given its youth and location.
At just 20 years old and located in the Territory with a population of 210,000 across 1.4 million square kilometres with relatively large numbers of vocational and indigenous students, the ranking seems all the more startling.
But core, recurrent funding for research from the NT government has also played a major role in bolstering the university’s research performance, he said.
Last year, that government funding support amounted to nearly $9 million.
Also see CDU website About page.