The publishers of an international university league table say New Zealand universities are losing ground to institutions in other countries.
Five of the six New Zealand universities in the QS World University Rankings published on Monday slipped lower.
The rankings' publisher says New Zealand universities are not keeping up with their competitors, amid increasing global competition in higher education.
The University of Auckland is the top-ranked New Zealand university, in 82nd place, down from 68th last year.
Vice-chancellor Stuart McCutcheon says New Zealand's overall result is worrying but not unexpected.
Mr McCutcheon says the Government's tertiary education spending is weighted toward student support rather than toward improving the quality of tertiary institutions.