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**Enhanced Ranking for Melbourne Law School Amid Students’ Challenging Year**

Apr 10, 2024 – 8.00pm

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In a recent global ranking update, Melbourne Law School has advanced one position to secure the 10th spot among the top law faculties worldwide. This achievement comes amidst a backdrop of student unrest due to issues such as maladministration, bureaucratic shortcomings, and ineffective communication that transpired just two weeks ago.

The 2024 QS World University Rankings by Subject have recognized nine Australian universities for their academic excellence across 17 subject areas, propelling them into the international top 10 rankings.

Melbourne Law School’s ascension in the rankings contrasts with the sentiments expressed by students. Wayne Taylor

Among these institutions, three universities—Queensland, Monash, and Curtin—stand out with programs acknowledged as the second best globally by QS. Specifically, the University of Queensland excelled in sports-related fields, Monash University in pharmacy and pharmacology, and Curtin University in mineral and mining engineering.

Although Melbourne University typically holds the highest overall ranking among Australian universities, it secured only two disciplines in the QS world top 10—sports-related fields (ninth place) and law.

Andrew Norton, a higher education policy specialist at the Australian National University, emphasized the significance of rankings in the decision-making process for prospective students.

However, he highlighted that rankings predominantly emphasize research performance rather than the student experience.

“Numerous international students, particularly from China, seek degrees from top-ranked universities,” Mr. Norton remarked. “Despite the substantially higher fees at these institutions, rankings often overlook student experiences or rely on unreliable surveys from academics and employers.”

Melbourne Law School, currently ranked eighth globally by Times Higher Education, has garnered substantial media attention regarding the management of its juris doctor program.

Students voiced grievances ranging from incorrect assessments and delayed exam results to inconsistent exam regulations enforced by invigilators and limited elective subject enrollment due to capacity constraints, leading to challenges in degree completion for some.

Out of the 1434 students enrolled in the juris doctor program in 2023, 883 were domestic fee-paying students (\(42,784 annually for three years), 335 held government-supported positions (\)15,132 annually, indexed), and 216 were full-fee international students ($46,176).

Mr. Norton advised prospective students to approach rankings with caution.

“The national student experience survey in Australia reveals that universities chosen by international students often exhibit below-average student satisfaction levels,” he stated. “It’s crucial for students to review these findings and heed the feedback shared by current students regarding their experiences.”

Despite the importance of student feedback, Mr. Norton acknowledged the challenge of identifying reliable sources for such insights.

The Australian National University received the highest number of top-10 subject rankings in this year’s QS assessment, excelling in politics and international students (eighth place), archaeology (eighth), philosophy (ninth), anthropology (ninth), and development studies (10th).

Julie is the Education editor with over two decades of experience as a writer, journalist, and editor. Connect with Julie on . Email Julie at

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