Further to our recent entries on European reactions and activities in relationship to global rankings schemes:
- International university rankings, classifications & mappings – a view from the European University Association
- The global obsession with rankings: how should Ireland respond?
- Multi-scalar governance technologies vs recurring revenue: the dual logics of the rankings phenomenon
- ‘University Systems Ranking (USR)’: an alternative ranking framework from EU think-tank
- Times Higher Education – QS World University Rankings (2008): a niche industry in formation?
- Euro angsts, insights and actions regarding global university ranking schemes
and a forthcoming guest contribution to SHIFTmag: Europe Talks to Brussels, ranking(s) watchers should examine this new tender for a €1,100,000 (maximum) contract for the ‘Design and testing the feasibility of a Multi-dimensional Global University Ranking’, to be completed by 2011.
The Terms of Reference, which hs been issued by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Education and Culture, is particularly insightful, while this summary conveys the broad objectives of the initiative:
The new ranking to be designed and tested would aim to make it possible to compare and benchmark similar institutions within and outside the EU, both at the level of the institution as a whole and focusing on different study fields. This would help institutions to better position themselves and improve their development strategies, quality and performances. Accessible, transparent and comparable information will make it easier for stakeholders and, in particular, students to make informed choices between the different institutions and their programmes. Many existing rankings do not fulfil this purpose because they only focus on certain aspects of research and on entire institutions, rather than on individual programmes and disciplines. The project will cover all types of universities and other higher education institutions as well as research institutes.
The funding is derived out of the Lifelong Learning policy and program stream of the Commission.
Thus we see a shift, in Europe, towards the implementation of an alternative scheme to the two main global ranking schemes, supported by substantial state resources at a regional level. It will be interesting to see how this eventual scheme complements and/or overturns the other global ranking schemes that are products of media outlets, private firms, and Chinese universities.