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Dentistry students at the University of Otago have got something to smile about - the course has been ranked the 12th best dentistry course in the world.
In data released today, the QS World University Rankings by Subject reveal the best places to study 42 of the most popular tertiary courses.
New Zealand universities featured 21 times in the top 50 across the 42 subject areas, up from last year's 20 placings.
The University of Otago's dentistry course topped the New Zealand universities, placing 12th in the world. The University of Auckland's archaeology course ranked 20th in the world - the first time archaeology has been included in the subjects evaluated by QS. It also ranked 23rd for education.
Massey University's veterinary sciences programme ranked 25th in the world, while the University of Canterbury's civil and structural engineering degree came in joint 49th, and Victoria University of Wellington's social policy and administration course joint 50th.
Neither the University of Waikato, Auckland University of Technology or Lincoln University had subjects that made it into the top 50, but did earn places in the top 100.
Overall the University of Auckland had the most placements within the lists, followed by the University of Otago.
The University of Auckland said the results confirmed its "status as New Zealand's leading university".
"This is an outstanding result for the University of Auckland and emphasises the comprehensive nature and calibre of our research and teaching contribution," Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon said.