The University of Otago’s Department of Tourism was ranked first in New Zealand and 24th in the world by the ShanghaiRanking Consultancy in its latest global university subject rankings.
Tourism Head of Department Professor Brent Lovelock says the result reflects many years of hard work by the department’s staff.
“The whole department is thrilled with this result and it reflects the hard work they have done over the past 12 months and beyond. This also reflects the high calibre of the research that we have underway in the department,” Professor Lovelock says.
Regarding the ShanghaiRanking, Professor Lovelock says, “in terms of Tourism and Hospitality this is definitely the world’s preeminent global ranking system. The teaching staff in the Department of Tourism are outstanding world-class researchers”.
Professor Lovelock says all the department’s researchers take pride in the fact that they contribute to sustainable tourism and hospitality in one way or another, and they are very pleased to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the Business School and the wider University.
Despite the COVID-19 global pandemic the Department of Tourism has maintained strong links with its international students.
“We’ve maintained a strong online presence with our Tourism major and Tourism Master’s students.”
He says that the Tourism department is currently exploring strategic alternatives to account for the challenges it may face regarding international students in the medium term, due to the pandemic.
“It’s probably the most exciting time to study Tourism as there’s the chance to take place in the global tourism rebuild. There’s a new emphasis on sustainability and resilience, so we’re equipping our students with a broad new range of skills that they can apply to any future form of work that they choose,” Professor Lovelock says.
Commerce Dean and Pro-Vice Chancellor Robin Gauld says it is no secret that the Otago Tourism Department has a global reputation, providing thought leadership and research in a range of critical fields in the discipline.
“This latest ranking is reflective of and reinforces this reputation. We are all immensely proud of this latest achievement,” Professor Gauld says.
In addition to being ranked first in New Zealand, the Otago Department of Tourism is ranked third in Oceania behind Brisbane’s Griffith University and the University of Queensland.
The rankings survey more than 1800 out of 4000 universities across 93 countries. They use a range of objective academic indicators and third-party data sources to measure the performance of world universities in relevant subjects, including international academic awards, top academic achievements, research quality, and international collaboration.
ShanghaiRanking Consultancy is dedicated to research on higher education intelligence and consultation. It has been the official publisher of the Academic Ranking of World Universities since 2009.
At number 34, the University of Canterbury was the only other New Zealand university to rank in the world’s top 50 for Tourism and Hospitality in the ShanghaiRanking system.