Three Australian universities have leapt up the world rankings into the top 20 for 2024. The University of Melbourne was the highest rated Australian institution taking 14th spot on the QS World University Rankings 2024. The rankings are based on analysis of academic papers and the expert opinions of academic faculty and employers. Categories considered for an overall score include sustainability, academic and employer reputation, and international students ratio. Top spot was taken out for the 12th time by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US with a perfect overall score of 100. The UK's Cambridge and Oxford universities rounded out the world's top three. The University of Melbourne jumped from 33rd in 2023 to 14th in 2024 and was highly rated for its academic reputation, international students ratio and international research network. University of Melbourne Vice Chancellor Duncan Maskell said he was very pleased QS had rated the university so highly. "The QS Rankings have reaffirmed that Australian universities are among the very best in the world," Professor Maskell said. "It is an unprecedented level of recognition that underlines the significant contribution that universities make to the nation's global reputation." UNSW also soared up the rankings by 26 places for its equal 19th placing. The university received high scores for its international faculty ratio, international research network and sustainability. Sydney University similarly climbed the rankings by 22 places to draw equal with UNSW. IN OTHER NEWS: All three of Australia's top universities were let down by low scores for their faculty student ratio. This is used by QS as an indicator of the learning and teaching environment, based on the staff resources made available to students. Australian National University in Canberra dropped four places to equal 34th, with a lower score for employment outcomes of 43.9 out of 100. The 2024 rankings are the 20th edition from QS Quacquarelli Symonds with some changes to the weight given to each criteria. Three new indicators were also added; sustainability, employability and international research collaboration.