2017 Champion of Mining Education -WA School of Mines
The WA School of Mines’ status as one of the top mining educators in the world firmed yesterday after Curtin University placed second globally for mining engineering programs in the 2017 QS Rankings.
Curtin jumped 17 places after being ranked 19th in the inaugural 2016 mining engineering list.
It comes as the WA Nationals prepare to take an aggressive $150 million expansion of WASM to Saturday’s State Election, which candidate for Kalgoorlie Tony Crook says will see it compete with runaway sector leader the Colorado School of Mines. Curtin received a composite score of 78.4 across a range of fields including academic reputation, employer reputation, citations, and the research benchmark H-index.
Colorado led the field with an overall score of 93.8, but WASM was far and away the top research performer, scoring 95 for citations per paper and 100 for H-index citations.
It came out first among Australian competitors the University of Queensland (third), the University of New South Wales (fifth), the University of WA (11th), the University of Melbourne (14th) and Adelaide University (20th).
WASM director Sam Spearing said the upgrade was important for Curtin’s Kalgoorlie campus, which is planning to hit a 50:50 ratio of international and local students in coming intakes.
“I think it’s very important for us because certainly international students take rankings quite seriously and we are an international university so I think it’s a very pleasing result for us,” he said.
Last year about 200 students studied full-time in Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Dr Spearing said he was disappointed perceptions of the downturn had affected student numbers, which he hoped could be returned to the 300-350 mark.
“I’m quite disappointed that local students aren’t choosing mining and mineral resources, because if you think about it, it’s hard to maintain a strong local economy without mining doing well,” he said.
“This current situation was more about the end of the mining construction phase rather than a mining downturn. I’m not aware of many mines of significance that closed during this time.
“When you look at it, gold is buoyant, certainly iron ore has gone up very dramatically.”
Curtin University vice-chancellor Deborah Terry said the ranking would make WASM attractive to prospective students. “I think what this subject ranking indicates is the absolute quality and the reputation of the WA School of Mines, which obviously has a major presence in Kalgoorlie,” she said.
“It will attract international students, it will attract domestic students, and the graduates in these areas know they are graduating from one of the top programs internationally and that will hold them in good stead for their future.”
“It reflects well on the School of Mines, Curtin and Kalgoorlie.”
The QS Rankings, which rank universities on 46 distinct subject areas, are considered the benchmark for tertiary institutions.