08 July 2010

Who evaluates the evaluators? University rankings face shake up and more competition

Nature reports that university rankings are set to change for the better, with more sophisticated tools used to rank the world's HE and research institutions. As we have been following global rankings of universities and how they appear to be prejudiced against Asian institutions (except Hong Kong and Singapore), we thought we would point out this article published earlier this year.

Perhaps the biggest change is that the THES rankings will be based on data from Thomson Reuters from now on, not QS. Meanwhile, QS plans to press on and improve its own methodology. Moreover, other rankings and more nuanced and balanced methodologies are going to challenge the dominance of THES and ARWU (compiled by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China). The former is often criticized as too unbalanced toward 'reputation' and volatile while the latter is said to emphasize scientific research results above all else. However, Japanese institutions fare about as well on both (which is, not very well) even though you might think a research bias would help them on ARWU.    

Url and excerpt follows:


Published online 3 March 2010 | Nature  464, 16-17 (2010)


Several approaches to university rankings now being developed are switching the emphasis away from crude league tables and towards more nuanced assessments that could provide better guidance for policy-makers, funding bodies, researchers and students alike. They promise to rank universities on a much wider range of criteria, and assess more intangible qualities, such as educational excellence. And the THE ranking list is trying to remake itself in the face of the criticism.

end of excerpt, for entire article see link

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