What happened to Macquarie?
There have been quite different reactions to the latest THES-QS rankings in the USA and Australia. It seems that nobody has noticed that Washington University in St. Louis fell from 48th place in 2006 to 161st this year. But there has been a great deal of discussion about why Macquarie University fell from 82nd to 168th.
It is difficult to figure out exactly what happened since the introduction of a new scoring method makes it difficult to compare 2006 and 2007 but it is possible to compare the relative positions in these years of a university for the components of the rankings.
In 2006 Macquarie was 93rd in the "peer review", 46th for recruiter rating, 198th for student faculty rating, 159th for citations per faculty, 1st for international faculty and 13th for international students.
In 2007 Macquarie was 142nd for the "peer review", 62nd for recruiter rating, 189th for student faculty ratio, 190th for citations per faculty, 55th for international faculty and 11th for international students.
It seems that the decline of Macquarie is due primarily to a poorer score for the "peer review", possibly because of a change in QS's methodology that meant that respondents could not select their own institutions, and to a dramatic fall from first place for numbers of international faculty.
It is impossible that the latter represents a real change over the year unless Macquarie has been expelling hundreds of international lecturers. Either QS used the wrong figure for 2006 and the correct one this year or they got it right in 2006 but made a mistake this year.
The administration at Macquarie ought to be able to answer these questions:
Did Macquarie provide QS with any information about international faculty in 2006 and in 2007? If so, what information was given and was it correct?