Bright minds, better business: the perks of having a global top 250 university in the Bay

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The University of Waikato has recently been celebrating the release of the 2025 QS World University Rankings. With an increased ranking of 235, we’ve maintained our place in the world’s top 250 universities and landed in the top three in New Zealand.

We have also held onto our position of number one in New Zealand in the QS research metric and were ranked in the top 100 globally for both research and sustainability.

Our success is something to be shared with the Bay of Plenty community. These rankings recognise that our academics are driving innovation and developing new ways of thinking about local and global challenges. It also reflects the strong partnerships we have with employers in the region.

We have been part of the Bay of Plenty for 30 years, and in the past five years have worked with partners to establish ourselves in Tauranga city’s Knowledge Precinct. Having a globally ranked University at the heart of our city directly influences positive outcomes for the region. It brings in staff and students from around New Zealand and the world, boosting our economy. Rankings attract international businesses and tertiary providers who want to collaborate with our researchers.

The exposure of our researchers to international thinking allows them to develop global solutions and apply them locally.

We benefit by attracting both local and international students who are full of innovative ideas and energy to pursue new ways of thinking.

International students enhance the cultural diversity of our city and boost our economy, while connecting us with cities across the world.

These students then either become graduates who are ready to make an impact in our workforce, or choose to pursue research careers where they can collaborate with international academics and businesses on the issues facing the world today.

Our students are already contributing directly to the future of Tauranga with our award-winning initiative, The Impact Lab, where they tackle sustainability issues in the community, such as working with Tauranga City Council on transport solutions.

We’re making an impact in the Bay of Plenty through our research in a broad range of disciplines, from marine science, law, education, high performance sport, and business – to name but a few.

At our Coastal Marine Field Station, researchers are exploring how seaweed can help our kiwifruit sector battle disease and climate change.

At our Adams Centre for High Performance, our team offer world-class training facilities and solutions which are being used by athletes preparing for the Paris Olympics. At the Waikato Management School, we’re supporting local AI and Fintech startups to connect with the New Zealand market through a short course for innovators to pitch their concepts and products to Bay of Plenty businesses.

This year, we are also celebrating our 60th anniversary. Being one of New Zealand’s youngest and smallest universities makes this global recognition particularly impressive.

We are ambitious in our plans for this region and are committed to the Bay of Plenty for the next 100 years and beyond. With our student numbers growing and plans to enhance study offerings, accommodation, and research facilities, we are definitely on track.

Building on our strong connections with industry is vital for us to achieve our vision, so thank you for your contribution to our research, engagement, and involvement in the QS Employer Reputation survey as part of this process.

Our global rankings success is as much ours as it is yours. Let’s celebrate our top 250 global status together and the positive impact this has on our region now and into the future.

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Professor Neil Quigley
Professor Neil Quigley
Professor Neil Quigley is the University of Waikato Vice-Chancellor www.waikato.ac.nz

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