The ten smartest university rankings in the world (or lists if you want to be pedantic)

Posted in Governance and administration on March 20th, 2017 by steve

International“Paul Greatrix at Wonk HE has just published a list of the ten dumbest rankings in the world. Some I would agree with but the choice of others seems a little odd. He objects to U-Multirank because it is expensive which is unfair when you consider the money that universities are spending on summits, consultancies, audits, ranking task forces and the like …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 20 March]


‘Elite’ status all risk, no benefit, for universities, says study

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

“Stripping universities of a marker of elite status hits their reputation and causes them to lose students, but the benefits of conferring it in the first place are negligible, evidence suggests. The research on Germany’s Excellence Initiative, which has been used to distribute billions of euros in public funding since 2006, has implications for all countries with official university ratings …” (more)

[David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 16 March]

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Four universities attain top 100 rank for various subjects

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

Ireland“Four Irish universities have taken top-100 positions for at least one subject in the latest world university rankings. The leading performance for any one subject in Ireland was achieved by University College Dublin (UCD), which rose two places to 29th position for veterinary science …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 8 March]


UCD leads way in world rankings as Trinity slides

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

Ireland“University College Dublin (UCD) is the leading Irish university in a new global rankings based on the performance of individual subject departments. The Dublin university ranks in the top 100 for 13 subjects, including two in the top 50 – veterinary science (29th) and English language and literature (45th) …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 8 March]


Another questionable university ranking

Posted in Governance and administration on March 7th, 2017 by steve

International“Back in 2009 I noted the arrival of Webometrics, a global ranking of universities based on their web presence. At that time it featured around 4,000 institutions but has since grown to around 27,000 (which does seem now to be used by many as the reference point for the estimate of the total number of universities across the globe) …” (more)

[Paul Greatrix, Registrarism, 7 March]


Henk Moed, ‘A critical comparative analysis of five world university rankings’

Posted in Governance and administration on February 27th, 2017 by steve

InternationalAbstract: To provide users insight into the value and limits of world university rankings, a comparative analysis is conducted of 5 ranking systems: ARWU, Leiden, THE, QS and U-Multirank. It links these systems with one another at the level of individual institutions, and analyses the overlap in institutional coverage, geographical coverage, how indicators are calculated from raw data, the skewness of indicator distributions, and statistical correlations between indicators. Four secondary analyses are presented investigating national academic systems and selected pairs of indicators. It is argued that current systems are still one-dimensional in the sense that they provide finalized, seemingly unrelated indicator values rather than offering a data set and tools to observe patterns in multi-faceted data. By systematically comparing different systems, more insight is provided into how their institutional coverage, rating methods, the selection of indicators and their normalizations influence the ranking positions of given institutions.

[, last revised 5 December]


Complex Metrics and Rankings Committees: The Measurements Taking over Universities

Posted in Governance and administration on February 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“In light of Trinity’s revised position in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, which saw Trinity placed at just 131st, the discussion surrounding rankings and their reliability has come under increasing pressure …” (more)

[Róisín Power, University Times, 26 February]

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Never mind the rankings, THE has a huge database

Posted in Governance and administration on February 21st, 2017 by steve

International“There has been a debate, or perhaps the beginnings of a debate, about international university rankings following the publication of Bahram Bekhradnia’s report to the Higher Education Policy Institute …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 21 February]


Free speech university rankings: a case of grade inflation

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

“Exciting news for those of us in higher education who believe in free speech as the third incisive Spiked analysis of free speech in universities is published. Always a landmark event and sure to grab the headlines …” (more)

[Paul Greatrix, Registrarism, 16 Februay]

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Free Speech University Rankings

Posted in Governance and administration on February 14th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“I have written on this blog in the past about university free speech rankings in the UK and the US. The online current affairs magazine, spiked, has published its third annual Free Speech University Rankings (FSUR) of the UK’s universities …” (more)

[Eoin O’Dell, Cearta, 13 February]

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Trinity back on elite university list after ‘really stupid’ error

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

Ireland“Trinity College Dublin (TCD) has admitted a ‘really stupid mistake’ it made saw it drop down the rankings of the world’s best universities. The university sent data relating to its research funding to the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings in the wrong format two years in a row …” (more)

[Ciarán D’Arcy and Ronan McGreevy, Irish Times, 10 February]

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Following Temporary Exclusion Last Year, Trinity Ranked 131st in World by Times Higher Education

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

Ireland“Following its temporary exclusion from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings last September, Trinity has now been ranked 131st, making it the highest ranked university in Ireland …” (more)

[Kathleen McNamee, University Times, 10 February]

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New Research Initiative Criticised After Concerns Over Ranking Academics

Posted in Research on February 2nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A new initiative to measure the research output of Trinity’s staff, currently in its pilot phase, has raised concerns that it might potentially rank and compare individual academics, already drawing criticism from a trade union. The new initiative, Principal Investigator Quantitative Analytics, is proposing to rank academics based on their research output …” (more)

[Róisín Power and Sinéad Baker, University Times, 1 February]

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Smurfit MBA climbs to 70th place in FT world rankings

Posted in Governance and administration on January 30th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School’s full-time masters of business administration (MBA) has climbed nine places to 70th on the annual Financial Times worldwide rankings. It is the only Irish business school to feature on the list …” (more)

[Irish Times, 30 January]

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Comments on the HEPI Report

Posted in Governance and administration on January 26th, 2017 by steve

International“The higher education industry tends to respond to global rankings in two ways. University bureaucrats and academics either get overexcited, celebrating when they are up, wallowing in self-pity when down, or they reject the idea of rankings altogether …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 26 January]


Third Level Participation

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 21st, 2017 by steve

IrelandTommy Broughan (Dublin Bay North, Independent): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the steps he is taking to address the inequalities seen in the league tables of students’ accession to universities; and if he will make a statement on the matter …”(more)

[Dáil written answers, 18 January]

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Cash-for-publications is ‘common practice’

Posted in Governance and administration on January 19th, 2017 by steve

International“Fears have been raised over whether universities are ‘buying’ journal papers to improve their ranking after a scholar revealed that he was offered more than £35,000 to list publications under the name of a lesser-known Chinese institution …” (more)

[Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 19 January]


Does your place in global university rankings matter?

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

InternationalThe Higher Education Policy Institute’s latest report on ranking has further stoked debate about how accurate and how useful international university rankings are. University World News asked its author and ranking experts to share their views.

Why most universities should quit the rankings game – Philip G Altbach and Ellen Hazelkorn

Are global university rankings a badge of shame? – Bahram Bekhradnia

Rankings – A useful barometer of universities’ standing – Ben Sowter

University rankings are innovating and improving – Phil Baty

Towards a fairer and more robust university ranking – Frank Ziegele and Frans van Vught


Outbreak of Rankophilia

Posted in Governance and administration on January 9th, 2017 by steve

International“A plague is sweeping the Universities of the West, rankophilia or an irrational and obsessive concern with position and prospects in global rankings and a unwillingness to exercise normal academic caution and scepticism …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 10 January]


All New Green Metric World Ranking 2016/17

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

Ireland“This world university league table, which is a distinctly green one, first appeared in 2010 and was headed by the University of California, Berkeley …” (more)

[Paul Greatrix, Wonkhe, 5 January]

[Irish entries: UCC 12th, UL 22nd, DCU 27th, NUIM 190th, UCD 200th, DIT 229th]