EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO A BETTER FUTURE, AND SUCH INVESTMENT WILL BOTH SPEED UP THE PROCESS OF RECOVERY AND EQUIP PEOPLE AND COUNTRIES WITH THE COMPETENCES TO PROSPER IN A POST-CRISIS WORLD.

ANDROULLA VASSILIOU
EU COMMISSIONER OFEDUCATION, CULTURE, MULTILINGUALISM AND YOUTH
Lat|Rus

Evaluating the Competitiveness of Higher Education Institutions in Terms of International Rankings and Classification Systems






PROJECT OBJECTIVE

The role of internationally comparable HEIs rankings is becoming increasingly influential in the context of higher education competitiveness.  Given the pressure exerted by policy-makers, HEIs themselves and general public, the number of rankings and methodologies change dynamically depending on the diverse geopolitical status of higher education institutions. Nevertheless, the ranking results leave a number of unanswered questions, interpretations and speculations. Due to the above reason, the qualifying rather than diversifying HEI comparisons gain popularity, e.g. the U-map and U-Multirank.

Because various parties are interested in the competitiveness of HEIs at the local, regional, national and international level, our task is to evaluate the competitiveness of HEIs in the context of international university rankings and to make use of available classification systems, as well as to make recommendations about those activities which would facilitate the competitiveness and development of HEIs.

PROJECT SOLUTION

In the context of international rankings, four globally recognised rankings were selected for the purposes of the project: Academic Ranking of World Universities or ARWU, Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranking, QS World University Ranking, and Webometrics.  The analysis of criteria and indicators for the particular HEI and the competing HEIs in each ranking was undertaken, thus reflecting the awarded ranks and analysing their operation indicators.  The modelling of the ranking indicators and the operating indicators of institutions concerned was undertaken, also processing quantitative data and forecasting dynamics.

The European Commission’s U-Map project involves a classification system aimed at reflecting the diversity, transparency and globalisation of higher education.  This helps to prepare a descriptive profile of the operation of each HEIs.  In order to ensure maximum comparability of data and homogeneity in the interpretation of data, the U-Map project makes use of data and information from educational institutions and government ministry reports for analytical purposes.

PROJECT RESULT

Analysis of international rankings leads to the establishment of recommendations, as well as the preparation of necessary strategic road maps and action plans.  This also identifies tools which HEIs can use to improve their positions in international rankings.  Institutional profiles, in turn, are prepared by analysing the level of development of HEI in the context of the U-Map system.  These are important and useful tools for institutional management. The profiles can contribute to internal strategy development, to external benchmarking, to developing inter-institutional cooperation, and to better communication about the profile of the institution.

Stakeholders (students, potential students, academic and administrative staff, business and industry) can use U-Map to compare different institutions on one or more dimensions by selecting the institutional profiles that best meet their needs and to identify the specific institutions that they are interested in.

 

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