University rankings are “hot”. Some universities, policy makers and journalists seem to take them quite seriously. At the same time, however, they are also fiercely criticized. The best known worldwide rankings tend, for instance, to have a strong anglo-saxon bias and tend to give insufficient valorisation to human sciences. Read More
Are improvements and alternatives to rankings possible? Should universities care about rankings and let them influence their practices? Parallel to international rankings, research assessments have become increasingly important in several countries. What are the current practices of research evaluation? What are the challenges, obstacles and advantages? How should one assess the quality of research in a fair and equitable way?
In this book a number of leading European experts share their thoughts and research findings on these issues. The approach of existing global university rankings is clearly unsatisfactory but this does not mean that all ranking exercises are pointless. Furthermore, we simply cannot afford to ignore the need for research assessment if we want to uphold quality standards at our higher education institutes. Merely relying on bibliometrics is problematic - even if we can overcome the current anglo-saxon bias in citation indices. Both research evaluation strategies as rankings endeavours have most to gain from a multiple criteria approach.
The contributions in this book are a selection of papers which were presented at the International Colloquium on “Ranking and Research Assessment in Higher Education”, which took place on 12 and 13 December 2007 at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. The conference was organized within the framework of the annual meeting of the European PhD in Socio-Economic and Statistical Studies and was hosted by the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences and the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management.