Proving anything you want from rankings

Posted in Governance and administration on July 4th, 2017 by steve

International“It seems that university rankings can be used to prove almost anything that journalists want to prove. Ever since the Brexit referendum experts and pundits of various kinds have been muttering about the dread disease that is undermining or about to undermine the research prowess of British universities …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 3 July]


Disrupting institutional entitlement in higher education: the Teaching Excellence Framework

Posted in Teaching on June 27th, 2017 by steve

“Let me first of all declare an interest. This post is going to be about the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in the UK. My university, Robert Gordon University, entered, and was awarded a Gold rating. So you may conclude that this colours my judgement. But let me first go back some ten years to a meeting I attended on university rankings …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 26 June]

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University rankings: good intentions, image polishing and more bureaucracy

Posted in Teaching on June 24th, 2017 by steve

“Some UK universities will be cheering, some groaning, after the release of rankings under the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). My own university received a silver, so we’re shrugging. Despite all these reactions, we don’t know if we can expect any impact on the quality of teaching. What we do know, however, is that it will lead to a large-scale image polishing, the mushrooming of rankings-related bureaucracy, judicious gaming of the new rules, and cynicism amongst professors and lecturers …” (more)

[Andre Spicer, The Conversation, 23 June]

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TEF results – How do REF and TEF results compare?

Posted in Governance and administration on June 22nd, 2017 by steve

“My first ever blog for Wonkhe was back in 2014, just after the REF results were released. I compared those results with NSS, to see if they could give us an idea of different institutions’ strategic focuses on research and teaching …” (more)

[David Morris, Wonkhe, 22 June]

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Comparing the THE and QS Academic Reputation Surveys

Posted in Governance and administration on June 18th, 2017 by steve

InternationalTimes Higher Education (THE) has just published its 2017 reputation rankings which include 100 universities. These are based on a survey distributed between January and March of this year and will be included, after standardisation, in the 2017-18 (or 2018) World University Rankings scheduled for publication in a few months …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 19 June]


The Abuse and Use of Rankings

Posted in Governance and administration on June 16th, 2017 by steve

International“International university rankings have become a substantial industry since the first appearance of the Shanghai rankings (Academic Ranking of World Universities or ARWU) back in 2003. The various rankings are now watched closely by governments and media and for some students they play a significant role in choosing universities …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 16 June]


Trinity’s rise in the rankings a good start, but funding and internal reform still needed

Posted in Governance and administration on June 10th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The recent rise of college in the QS rankings should be commended, as rankings matter. However, it does not alleviate the need for increased higher education funding …” (more)

[Rory O’Sullivan, Trinity News, 9 June]

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Trinity’s Rankings Rise Must Not Obscure the Challenges Facing Irish Universities

Posted in Governance and administration on June 8th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Yesterday’s announcement that Trinity has moved up 10 places to 88th in the QS World University Rankings should certainly be welcomed. After years of continuous decline, the reversal of this longstanding trend is a significant step for Trinity, and other Irish universities, in regaining their strong standing on the international stage …” (more)

[Simon Foy, University Times, 8 June]

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Trinity and UCD climb latest world university rankings

Posted in Governance and administration on June 8th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Ireland’s top universities are climbing back up international rankings following a decade of cutbacks which meant many of them tumbled down influential league tables, new figures show. However, the country’s largest university UCD has warned that third level education remains under severe financial strain …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 7 June]


UK universities fall down global league tables after budget cuts

Posted in Governance and administration on June 8th, 2017 by steve

“Britain’s universities are being dragged down by falling levels of research funding and employing fewer highly qualified staff than their international rivals, according to the compilers of a prestigious world university league table. The QS world university rankings for 2018, published on Thursday, shows the majority of British universities slipping down its table …” (more)

[Richard Adams, Guardian, 7 June]

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University rankings are fake news. How do we fix them?

Posted in Governance and administration on May 17th, 2017 by steve

“The big news on the release of the Times Higher Education World University rankings for 2017 was that Oxford, not Caltech is now the No 1 university in the world. According to the BBC news website, ‘Oxford University has come top of the Times Higher Education world university rankings – a first for a UK university. Oxford knocks California Institute of Technology, the top performer for the past five years, into second place’ …” (more)

[Reciprocal Space, 16 May]


UCD Smurfit Business School hits top 50 in world rankings

Posted in Governance and administration on May 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The UCD Smurfit Business School has been ranked 48th in the world and 26th in Europe in the ranking of open enrolment programmes, according to the 2017 Financial Times Executive Education Rankings. The school was identified as the highest climber in the rankings, jumping 21 places since 2016 …” (more)

[Irish Times, 15 May]

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Top academic decries funding deficit in Irish universities

Posted in Governance and administration on May 8th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Co Waterford woman who heads the University of Oxford has said Irish universities’ slide down international rankings is a direct consequence of declining investment. Prof Louise Richardson said the issue of university fees was a very difficult one for politicians but all societies must have a conversation about who pays for third-level education …” (more)

[Mary Minihan, Irish Times, 8 May]

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The latest U21 systems ranking

Posted in Governance and administration on May 5th, 2017 by steve

International“Now an annual event, we have the Universitas 21 league table, the 2017 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems, which is intended to give an overview and ranking of higher education systems across the world. This is the sixth such report and now has some additional features …” (more)

[Paul Greatrix, Wonkhe, 5 May]


Irish universities punch above weight for innovation

Posted in Governance and administration on May 3rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Ireland boasts more top-100 innovative universities per capita than any other country in Europe, according to a new ranking. That is the conclusion of Reuters’ second annual ranking of Europe’s most innovative universities, a list that identifies and ranks the educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies, and help drive the global economy …” (more)

[David Ewalt and Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 3 May]


The antidote to university league tables?

Posted in Governance and administration on May 2nd, 2017 by steve

“Last December, HEPI published a report ‘International university rankings: For good or ill?’ by its former Director Bahram Bekhradnia. Suffice to say, he didn’t plump for good. To sum up his criticisms, and more particularly to add some of my own, rankings narrowly assess the wrong criteria for quality …” (more)

[Johnny Rich, Wonkhe, 2 May]

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Exactly how much is five million Euro worth converted into ranking places

Posted in Governance and administration on April 12th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“One very useful piece of information to emerge from the Trinity College Dublin (TCD) rankings fiasco is the likely effect on the rankings of injecting money into universities. When TCD reported to THE that it had almost no income at all, 355 Euro in total, of which 11 Euro was research income and 5 Euro from industry, it was ranked in the 201-250 band in the world university rankings …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 12 April]

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Should graduation rates be included in rankings?

Posted in Governance and administration on April 11th, 2017 by steve

International“There is a noticeable trend for university rankings to become more student- and teaching-centred. Part of this is a growing interest in using graduation rates as a ranking metric. Bob Morse of US News says ‘[t]his is why we factor in graduation rates. Getting into college means nothing if you can’t graduate’ …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 11 April]

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Trinity College Shoots Itself in the Other Foot

Posted in Governance and administration on April 6th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The story so far. Trinity College Dublin (TCD) has been flourishing over the last decade according to the Shanghai and Round University Rankings (RUR) world rankings which have a stable methodology. The university leadership has, however, been complaining about its decline in the Times Higher Education (THE) and QS rankings, which is attributed to the philistine refusal of the government to give TCD the money that it wants …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 6 April]

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Doing Something About Citations and Affiliations

Posted in Governance and administration on April 6th, 2017 by steve

International“University rankings have proliferated over the last decade. The International Rankings Expert Group’s (IREG) inventory of national rankings counted 60 and there are now 40 international rankings including global, regional, subject, business school and system rankings …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 6 April]