AppliedHE Apologizes to and Congratulates the University of Newcastle (Australia) on its Rankometer Performance

On behalf of AppliedHE, I would like to apologize to the students, faculty, alumni and other valued community members and stakeholders of the University of Newcastle (Australia). In the recently published AppliedHE Rankometer World University Rankings I failed to include the University of Newcastle among the list of the world’s top-500 universities due to a data processing error. While to err is human, I am also fully aware of the consequences of this error, which removed the University of Newcastle not only from the world ranking but also from the list of 28 Australian universities included in Rankometer. This gave the impression that the University of Newcastle is not a top global nor a top Australian university. It is a mistake that I deeply regret and which was wholly unintentional.

To set the record straight, the University of Newcastle (Australia) should have been placed as 231st in the World and 16th in Australia in Rankometer. Its Rankometer score of 1,409 points is based on its 197th rank in the QS World University Rankings, its 301st rank in the Academic Ranking of World Universities, its 251st rank in the THE World University Rankings, its 336th rank in the Leiden Rankings (PP 10%) and its 324th rank in the Webometrics Ranking Web of Universities: a strong showing across all five constituent rankings.

For Australia the correct Rankometer rankings are therefore as follows:

Ranko Score Institution
38 310 University of Melbourne
40 341 University of Queensland
48 367 University of Sydney
52 381 Australian National University
53 400 University of New South Wales
61 426 Monash University
83 599 University of Adelaide
104 723 University of Western Australia
124 789 University of Technology Sydney
156 1000 Curtin University
166 1061 University of Wollongong
175 1102 Macquarie University
188 1171 Deakin University
214 1304 Griffith University
219 1338 RMIT University
231 1409 University of Newcastle (Australia)
250 1520 University of Tasmania
251 1521 University of Victoria
292 1723 La Trobe University
298 1754 University of South Australia
301 1766 Western Sydney University
302 1767 Queensland University of Technology
315 1866 Flinders University
350 2087 Swinburne University of Technology
361 2157 James Cook University
395 2334 University of Canberra
403 2393 Australian Catholic University
480 2800 Murdoch University
497 2886 Edith Cowan University

In order to try and correct the mistake, AppliedHE is updating its Rankometer page to now include the University of Newcastle in its ranking tables (, adding an erratum to its methodology page, issuing this public apology and correction and distributing it through AppliedHE Xtra! Xtra! and AppliedHE social media channels. I am also reaching out to media that have covered Rankometer and to the University of Newcastle with this same message.

With regards to the cause of the data processing error: the algorithm used to match university names mistakenly identified the University of Newcastle (Australia) as Newcastle University (United Kingdom), an institution sometimes also referred to as the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in some of the constituent rankings. Because of this error the University of Newcastle scored 1001 points in these rankings, thus lowering its Rankometer rank and excluding it from the top-500 institutions in Rankometer.

This error should have been noticed before publication of Rankometer, however it was not because only a limited share of the more than 5,000 data points used to compile Rankometer were manually re-checked. The name-matching algorithm has since been corrected to avoid recurrence of the error. I have also re-audited the Rankometer results to see if similar naming errors have occurred. I have been unable to find any further errors at this time.

Although this mistake only concerns a single institution, I am well aware that this error can undermine confidence in Rankometer and all AppliedHE evaluation tools. As the old Dutch saying goes: trust comes on foot, but leaves on horseback.  While it is no replacement for accuracy, this mistake re-enforces the need to be as transparent as possible with the use of data. Please note that the constituent ranking used to calculate the Rankometer score are also provided at

Finally, allow me to thank the person who pointed out the discrepancy concerning the University of Newcastle in Rankometer. Your vigilance and interest in Rankometer are warmly appreciated.

Should any person have any further questions about Rankometer, please do not hesitate to contact AppliedHE. I would be more than happy to respond to any such inquiries.

Pieter E. Stek, Chief Analyst

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