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Otago’s sports-related disciplines shine in world rankings

Wednesday, 15 March 2017 9:58pm

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Staff of the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences are delighted with the latest QS World University Ranking by Subject.

In the recently released 2017 QS World University Rankings by Subject, Otago was judged to be among the world’s top 10 universities for the study of Sport and sport-related disciplines, placing seventh internationally. This was the highest ranking achieved by any New Zealand university for any subject area in these latest rankings.

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Professor Doug Booth.

Dean of the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Professor Doug Booth, says that the ranking is a great boost for staff morale at the School, and is an affirmation of the excellent research and teaching being undertaken.

“We are absolutely delighted to be recognised as being in the same league as the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia and Loughborough University when it comes to our research and teaching in human performance and physical education,” Professor Booth says.

The School has been at the forefront of the study of human movement and the teaching of physical education for over 60 years, he says. With regard to teaching, “school principals continue to express a preference for Otago graduates when they look to appoint physical educators.”

All staff are research active and, as the rankings suggest, many are leaders in the sub-disciplines that comprise the broad field, including outdoor education (Mike Boyes), children’s issues (Lisette Burrows), sports coaching (Tania Cassidy), environmental physiology (Jim Cotter), sport psychology (Ken Hodge), Māori physical activity and health (Anne-Marie Jackson), sport media (Steve Jackson), physical activity and health (Lynnette Jones), and sport management (Sally Shaw).

"We are thrilled that our efforts have been recognised ... and everyone is keen to continue working hard to maintain this leading position."

“As well as producing high-quality research, staff are closely engaged with professional associations and the leading journals in their particular fields.”

The School also has more than its share of outstanding teachers who have won awards over the years, including Anne-Marie Jackson, Steve Jackson and Lynnette Jones.

“We are thrilled that our efforts have been recognised through this prestigious international ranking and everyone is keen to continue working hard to maintain this leading position,” Professor Booth says.