From Michel Rose,
Paris-based journalist

Thanks for your story in the excellent University World News newsletter, which I read every Sunday. I wanted to let you know my utter confusion as to this new '4ICU' ranking which seems even more biased and useless than other rankings. My observations concern the position of French institutions in this ranking system.

The first French university only ranks 59th in the top 100 in Europe and it is the university of Caen, a small and obscure school in Normandy, while universities considered here by students as the best institutions are nowhere to be seen. In the top 200 international list, the first French university (Caen again) is only 197th!

So not only does this ranking fail to rank universities "by the quality of education or level of services provided", but it also makes a really poor job at explaining "how popular a specific university/college is in a foreign country".

French scholars, who, as you may know, had to put up with poor performances in other rankings, are increasingly angry at the unfair way the French university system is portrayed by them (after all, France is the fourth most popular student destination in the world).

But this one is absolutely laughable and it seems fair that its creators should be asked to give a bit more explanation as to how they came to this result.

University World News has done a good job at reporting the debates among scholars about this new 'ranking bonanza', but I feel it should also take a harder stance against those with dubious results and amateurish methods, emphasise their flaws more strongly, and further question their motives.

I appreciate that you mentioned the hard time you had contacting them and I hope they will get back to you soon with some answers.

I look forward to reading more about this issue.

Michel Rose