During the last decades ranking has become one of the most controversial issues in higher education and research. It is widely recognized now that, although some of the current rankings can be severely criticized, they seem to be here to stay. In addition, rankings appear to have a great impact on decision-makers at all levels of higher education and research systems worldwide, including in universities. Rankings reflect a growing international competition among universities for talent and resources; at the same time they reinforce competition by their very results. Yet major concerns remain as to the rankings' methodological underpinnings and to their various impacts.
This new book presents a comprehensive overviewof the current ‘state of the art’ of ranking in higher education and research, and introduces a completely new approach called ‘multidimensional ranking’. In part 1 rankings are discussed in the broader context of quality assurance and transparency in higher education and research. In addition the many current ranking methodologies are analyzed and critized, and their impacts are explored. In part 2 a new approach to ranking is introduced, based on the basic idea that higher education and research institutions have different profiles and missions and that the performances of these institutions should reflect these differences. This multidimensional approach is operationalized in a new multidimensional and user-driven ranking tool, called U-Multirank. U-Multirank is the outcome of a pilot project, sponsored by the European Commission, in which the new ranking instrument was designed and tested at a global scale.
Table of Contents
Preface.- 1. Introduction: Towards a New Ranking Approach in Higher Education and Research; Frans van Vught, Don Westerheijden and Frank Ziegele.- PART I: MULTIDIMENSIONAL RANKING.- 2. Transparency, Quality and Accountability; Frans van Vught and Don Westerheijden.- 3. Classifications and Rankings; Gero Federkeil, Frans van Vught and Don Westerheijden.- 4. An Evaluation and Critique of Current Rankings; Gero Federkeil, Frans van Vught and Don Westerheijden.- 5. Impact of Rankings; Frans van Vught and Don Westerheijden.- PART II: U-MULTIRANK.- 6. Background and Design; Gero Federkeil, Frans Kaiser, Frans van Vught and Don Westerheijden.- 7. Dimensions and Indicators; Gero Federkeil, Ben Jongbloed, Frans Kaiser and Don Westerheijden.- 8. Data Collection; Julie Callaert, Elisabeth Epping, Gero Federkeil, Ben Jongbloed, Frans Kaiser and Robert Tijssen.- 9. The Pilot Test and Its Outcomes; Julie Callaert, Elisabeth Epping, Gero Federkeil, Jon File, Ben Jongbloed, Frans Kaiser, Isabel Roessler, Robert Tijssen, Frans van Vught and Frank Ziegele.- 10. An Interactive Multidimensional Ranking Web Tool; Gero Federkeil, Jon File, Frans Kaiser, Frans van Vught and Frank Ziegele.- 11. Concluding Remarks; Frans van Vught and Frank Ziegele.- References.- Contributors.- Index.