This replaces an earlier post.
Last year Times Higher Education admitted to an error involving Monash University and the University of Adelaide
Also, after the launch of the World University Rankings 2010 it became apparent that, owing to a data processing error, the ranking positions of two Australian universities in the top 200 list were incorrect — the University of Adelaide and Monash University.
Both universities remain in the top 1 per cent of world universities.
This year, a representative of Adelaide commented on the error:
Adelaide's DVCR Mike Brooks said it had been "disconcerting'' that there had been a data processing error last year in the first iteration of the revised rankings since their split from QS. "It certainly raises further questions about the credibility of the rankings,'' Professor Brooks said.
"Based on our own analysis we believe that we have a similar ranking this year to that of 2010. The shift in position is attributed to the error in the processing last year, ongoing changes in THE methodology and increased competition.''
"I think the students and the wider community are able to judge for themselves. As South Australia's leading research-university and only member of the Group of Eight, I know that we are in an incredibly strong position for the future.''
Adelaide's fall seems to have been due very largely to a massive fall in the score for research impact. How much of this was due to the correction of the 2010 error, how much to changes in methodology and how much to the inherent instability of the normalisation procedure is not clear