Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Utility of RankingsAnother advantage of a good performance in international university rankings is that graduates will be able to get into Russian postgraduate programs (if your university is in a G8 country). Russia’s education ministry is currently drawing up a list of foreign universities whose qualifications will be recognized.The list will include only universities located within the G8

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Update 5 on El Naschie vs NatureThe BBC has another piece on the Nature case by Pallab Ghosh. It seems that El Naschie is now admitting that his papers were not peer reviewed but argues that this was because he had no peers who could review them: He said that he would discuss his papers with fellow scientists, and only when he thought that they were of a sufficiently high standard would he
The Politics of RankingOne of the more interesting aspects of the university ranking business is the way it is used by local politicians to advance their agenda. This is especially obvious in Malaysia where errors and methodological changes have sent local universities bouncing up down the QS rankings. Every rise is proclaimed to be a vindication of government policy while every fall is
Update 4 on El Naschie vs NatureGervase de Wilde has an article on the case in Inform's Blog. He refers to the Guardian's account and then adds the following comment:Comment The case seems to offer ammunition to libel reformers. Even in the absence of the ill-advised and incoherent aspects of his case which were excluded before trial, and of the implicit comparisons of his work to Einstein’s made

Friday, November 18, 2011

Update 3 on El Naschie vs NatureThe Guardian has a substantial report on the case by Alo Jha. It seems that El Naschie believes that expert witness Neil Turok is unqualified to understand his work.It is difficult to see how this argument, even if valid, is relevant to the point of whether or not peer review took place.Should the court decide in favour of El Naschie, it would provide some sort of

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Times Higher Social Science RankingsThe top three are:1.  Stanford2.  Harvard3.  Oxford
The Influence of RankingsVarsity, the student newspaper at Cambridge, suggests that British universities are recruiting staff in order to improve their position in the QS rankings:Matthew Knight, chairman of Universities HR and the University of Leeds HR director, said: “Within the context of £9,000 fees, many universities have a strategic drive to improve the quality of the student experience

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Update 2 on El Naschie and NatureNote that New Scientist describes El Naschie as an "independent physicist". Does this imply that he has no affiliation and that Nature was correct in questioning his claims to academic status?
Update on El Naschie and NatureThe New Scientist has provided some coverage of the trial which is also discussed at El Naschie Watch. On November 15,  this item by Chelsea Whyte appeared:Benjamin De Lacy Costello, a materials scientist at the University of the West of England in Bristol, UK, testified yesterday that when El Naschie was editor, the peer-review process at Chaos, Solitons and
El Naschie and NatureThe El Naschie vs Nature case is under way at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.Briefly, Mohamed El Naschie, the former editor of the journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, is suing the journal Nature and the writer Quirin Schiermeier for its comments on the journal's publication of many of his own papers.El Naschie is claiming that he was defamed by the suggestion that

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The THE Subject RankingsThe ranking seasons has drawn to a close, or at least it will when we have digested the feasibility report from the European Commission's U-Multirank project. Meanwhile, to tie up some loose ends, here are the top 3 from each of THE's subject group rankings.Engineering and Technology1.  Caltech2.  MIT3.  PrincetonArts and Humanities1.  Stanford2.  Harvard3. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Conference in ShanghaiI hope to post something in a day or two on the recent World Class Universities conference in Shanghai. Meanwhile, there is an interesting comment by Alex Usher of Higher Education Strategy Associates, a Canadian consulting firm."In discussions like this the subject of rankings is never far away, all the more so at this meeting because its convenor, Professor Nian Cai Liu,