New international university ranking initiated by the European Commission
The EU has also considered this issue, and has now launched U-Multirank (www.umultirank.org) which will differ from existing rankings by rating universities according to a broader range of performance factors, aimed at providing a more realistic and user-friendly guide to what they offer. The new 'multi-dimensional' ranking will rate universities in five separate areas: reputation for research, quality of teaching and learning, international orientation, success in knowledge transfer (eg partnerships with business and start-ups), and regional engagement. Universities are being invited to sign up for the new ranking in the first half of 2013, and the first results are due in early 2014.
U-Multirank will be based on objective criteria and data, with an independent consortium having been selected to carry out the ranking. The consortium consists of the Centre for Higher Education in Germany; the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies in the Netherlands; and other partners including academic publishers Elsevier, the Bertelsmann Foundation and software firm Folge 3. The consortium will also work with other national and European organisations in order to compile accurate data.
THE has criticised the proposed rankings as a waste of taxpayers’ money, and has alleged that LERU, the League of European Research Universities representing 21 of Europe's best research-intensive universities, had "pulled out" of U-Multirank. This is contested by Jordi Curell, director of higher education and international affairs in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Education and Culture, who adds “We need universities and colleges that deliver results across the whole spectrum of the university mission – not only research, which is the focus of traditional rankings, but also teaching and learning, regional outreach, international profile, and knowledge transfer. U-Multirank, as a European ranking and transparency tool, will cater for this diversity and will tell us how our systems are performing – so that we can improve them.”
Posted on Tuesday, 18 June 2013