The European Union unveiled its new "U-Multirank┬" university ranking system on February 1, 2013. The multi-dimensional approach will assess institutions in five areas: reputation for research, quality of teaching and learning, international orientation, success in knowledge transfer and regional engagement.
The ranking system is open to institutions worldwide, and the process of recruiting institutions has begun, with a target of 500 participants. The first results are expected to be published in 2014.
The goal of the new ranking system is to provide students, institutions and policy makers with a picture of institutional performance across a multi-faceted range of assessment areas that is broader than criteria limited only to research functions. It is expected to mirror the diversity of the higher education sphere in addition to presenting results in the five assessment areas.
The development of the U-Multirank system has been funded by the European Commission and supported by partnerships with German and Dutch higher education organizations for several years, but critics have voiced many questions about its function and effects. There has been skepticism of the concept of œrankings┬" in general, including the need for an additional ranking system, ranking systems as contributors to the œcommodification┬" of higher education, the potential costs of the new system to taxpayers, and the viability of the system itself to deliver on its promise. The U-Multirank administration promises that the process will include œreality checks┬" and a reliance on reliable data. Find more reports on the system in the Times Higher Education (UK).
By: AACRAO Connect