Universities are increasingly confronted by a plethora of ranking and classification initiatives – both at the national and international level.
While many university leaders have reservations about rankings, their methodologies and criteria, there is a growing recognition that such initiatives are here to stay. Research has also shown that despite the acknowledged shortcomings of their criteria, rankings are having an increasing impact on decision-making and activities in universities across Europe. This is why EUA has decided that there is need to respond on behalf of the 850 universities it represents by publishing an ‘annual review of international higher education rankings’.
The aim of this new pilot project will be to provide universities with transparent information about international rankings by critically evaluating their methodologies, assessing potential biases and suggesting improvements. The review will also help universities to develop strategies to cope with rankings, as well as encouraging alternative approaches to enhance transparency.
The annual review – due to appear for the first time in 2011 – will include a compendium of different international ranking initiatives with a thorough critique and analysis, and will be complemented by a series of critical articles by leading experts in the field. To disseminate this information and stimulate debate on the findings, EUA also plans to organise an annual rankings seminar for university leaders across Europe.