University of Wollongong academics will be encouraged to produce more articles, in more prestigious publications, as part of efforts to improve UOW's sliding status in an international ranking system.
The university retained its top 2 per cent status and achieved a marginally higher overall score in the latest QS World University Rankings, but still slid 12 places, to 276th.
The university's ranking has been on the decline since it was ranked 199th in 2007.
Vice-Chancellor Paul Wellings pointed to the increased competition from Asian universities to explain the "Alice Through the Looking Glass" set of circumstances, whereby "it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place".
"We know the competition from Singapore, Hong Kong and China is coming up so quickly now. Those countries are putting a lot of money into their university systems," said Prof Wellings, who is aiming at a top 200, top 1 per cent, ranking.
The QS system is one of at least four major university ranking systems, and has become a highly prized evidence-based marketing tool.
Prof Wellings said the value of a high ranking lay not only in attracting students.
"We know that the governments of overseas countries allocate scholarships based on some of these ratings. If we continue to drift too far down the table, some of our international students might not be eligible for scholarships."
This year's overall result suffered due to results in three of the six categories - faculty student (teacher-student ratio), citations per faculty and academic reputation - the result of surveys in which academics are asked to name leaders in their research fields.
UOW achieved a score of just 28.4 in the academic reputation category, down from 44.7 in 2007.
The university's overall score was 42.1 - a small improvement on last year but well below the 55.3 recorded in 2007.
Universities in the United States and United Kingdom continued to dominate the top 20 - uncharted territory for Australian universities this year.
ANU remained Australia's highest-ranked university, despite sliding three places to 27th.
Within the top 100, The University of Melbourne (31) rose five places, the University of Sydney (38) rose a place and The University of Queensland (43) rose three places.
The UNSW stayed at 52nd spot, Monash University (69) fell eight places, and the University of Western Australia (84) fell five places, while UTS rose 12 places to 272nd and the University of Newcastle slipped 30 places to 298th.
UOW was also ranked in the list of Top 50 Under 50 - for universities established since 1963, coming in at 24th.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) topped the academic listing as the world's highest-ranked university.