THE University of the Sunshine Coast has officially "arrived" on the global stage, making its first appearance in the Times Higher Education rankings of the top 980 universities in the world.
The university, which is just 20 years old, has been ranked in the 501-600 bracket on a list that includes the top universities in the world.
USC Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Roland De Marco said making the top 600 universities was an "extraordinary" achievement, considering there were more than 50,000 institutions worldwide.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2016-17 were announced in the lead-up to the organisation's world academic summit at the University of California, Berkeley, and included established universities that were hundreds of years old.
This year's top 10 included world-class institutions such as Caltech, MIT, Stanford, Cambridge, Harvard and Princeton.
Topping the list was the University of Oxford.
"To be ranked between 501 and 600 out of more than 50,000 universities in the world is an incredible feat for our smaller and younger university," Prof De Marco said.
"The results are based on a range of performance indicators required for vibrant and successful universities in the modern era, and effectively positions USC in the top 1% to 1.5% of the world's universities."
He said the USC had achieved an international ranking about four years ahead of schedule because of its recent steep rise in research.
"We've had a quintupling of research income, a trebling of research publications and a doubling of student research enrolments over the past five years."
The five performance pillars of the Times Higher Education rankings are teaching, research, citations, industry income and international outlook.
Prof De Marco said USC's new positioning provided great impetus towards its strategic goal for 2020 - of reaching the Times Higher Education top 100 universities under 50 years of age.
He expected the ranking to boost USC's international reputation as well as attract more students and staff, particularly researchers, from overseas.
"Students in other countries who want to study abroad can be heavily influenced by university standings internationally.
"There are also a number of significant international doctoral scholarship programs that will become available at USC now that it has featured on this prestigious table.
"USC has not ranked previously on any international rankings table, so this is a watershed moment.
"We certainly expect to continue our rapid rise on both of these tables."
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