Friday, November 09, 2007

Dramatic Fall by Macquarie

The Sydney Morning Herald Herald reports on the THES-QS`rankings. Macquarie has fallen from 82 to 168.

AUSTRALIAN universities have slipped in one of the most respected world rankings. The most dramatic drop was suffered by Macquarie University - jeopardising a $100,000 bonus for its vice-chancellor, Steven Schwartz.

His bonus depends on improving Macquarie University's ranking in the Australian sector, but it has plummeted from 82 to 168 in the Times Higher Education Supplement's annual survey, released in Britain overnight. It has dropped from seventh to ninth among local universities.

Professor Schwartz, an American academic who had previously been head of Brunel University in Britain, replaced Di Yerbury in a messy coup last year. There was a bitter dispute between Macquarie and Professor Yerbury over ownership of paintings and other material she had accumulated over 19 years.

We will have to wait until the online results are available but the fall of Macquarie and perhaps of Steven Schwartz may have something to do with a reported change in the percentage of international faculty or possibly the introduction of z scores in the rankings. Last year Macquarie held top place for international faculty but QS did not reveal how they got the information and Macquarie did not confirm what the correct number was. Given the money at stake, it would not be totally astonishing if the 2006 figure for international faculty had been massaged a little bit.

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