From Ron Smith, a blogger at New Zealand Centre for Political Research, a think tank.
It has now come to my notice that the latest world university rankings, which placed Harvard first, Oxford and Cambridge Universities joint sixth, and the University of Auckland 143rd (the only New Zealand placing), placed Alexandria University of Egypt, just behind at 147th. Alexandria University was also fourth-ranked in the world in the category of ‘citations’, which probably skewed the overall assessment, very substantially.
The explanation for this rather surprising outcome turns on the presence in Alexandria of a particularly enterprising academic, Mohamed El Naschie, who apparently published, during the review period no less than 320 of his own articles in a scientific journal of which he was also the editor.
There are a number of conclusions that might be drawn from this episode. The most obvious is that any New Zealand university wishing to improve its ranking should immediately offer Dr Naschie a personal chair in whatever field he is publishing in. There would be no need for him to actually come here, or engage in any teaching.
Thanks to the reader who pointed us to Ron Smith: More on academic ranking.