Ranking
- New Developments in Europe
Gero Federkeil
CHE – Centre for Higher Education Development
The 3rd International Symposium on University Rankings
Leiden, 6-7 February 2009
Presentation
Recent trends in
1. National rankings
2. International Rankings
 European
 Global
3rd Int. Symposium on University Rankings, Leiden, February 2009
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I. National Rankings in Europe
14 countries
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I. National Rankings in Europe
 Purpose of most national rankings: information for
(prospective) students
 Focus on teaching & learning in most rankings
 Some specialised rankings:
– e.g. CHE Rating: employability in Bachelor-programmes
 Done by different types of institutions:
– media (e.g. France, Italy, UK, Germany)
– independent organisations (e.g. Perspektywy - Poland;
CHE - Germany; studiekeuze123 - NL)
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II. International Rankings: European
 Growing demand for Europe-wide information
about HEIs (European higher education area)
 Rankings should refer to defined „markets“ (target
groups, types of institutions, regions)
 Regional extension of (originally) national CHE
ranking:
– Austria, Switzerland
– Netherlands (2009: most universities)
– individual institutions in other countries that are of
special interest for German (speaking) students
• i.e. either programmes in German language (e.g. University
Babes-Bolyai Cluj; Semmelweis University – medicine)
• substantial percentage of German students
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II. CHE European Excellence Ranking
 Purpose: information for mobile European
Master- / PhD-students
 Focus on MA-/PhD-programmes & research
 According to basic CHE approach:
– field-based
– multi-dimensional
– group approach, no league table
 European ranking: indicator-based pre-selection
of universities
– bibliometric analysis
– participation in Marie-Curie-programme
– international students
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II. CHE European Excellence Ranking
 first cyle 2008: mathematics, physics, chemistry,
biology
inclusion:
disproportional to
countries
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II. CHE European Excellence Ranking
Empirical argument in favour of field-based rankings:
Only a few universities were ranked top in all of the
four fields !
4 subjects
6,1%
3 subjects
6,1%
2 subjects
24,2%
1 subject
63,6%
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II. Recent Trends in Europe
 Increasing dynamics to develop a broad European
ranking
 Alternative to global rankings that
– are biased against other fields than the (bio-medical)
sciences
– are biased against non-English-speaking countries
– are exclusively focussing on research (Shanghai ranking)
– have severe problems with regard to validity / reliability
(THES ranking)
 Pushed forward by French initiative during French
EU presidency
 Conference in November 2008
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II. Recent Trends in Europe
 December 2009: Call for Tender by European
Commission: „Design and testing the feasibility of a
Multi-dimensional Global University Ranking”
 Main elements:
– global ranking
– field based rankings (business, engineering) &
institutional ranking
– multi-dimensional approach (teaching& learning,
research, internationalisation, community outreach)
– all levels of education (Bachelor, Master, PhD)
– universities plus non-university HEIs and non-university
research institutions
– broad range of target groups (students, teachers &
researchers, university leaders, enterprises…)
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II. Global Trends
 Continuation of global rankings:
– Broad rankings (THES, Shanghai)
– Special rankings (Leiden Ranking, Ecoles des Mines)
 Shanghai Jiatong Ranking:
Announcement of first field-based rankings for
autumn 20009 (chemistry, physics, mathematics,
computer science and engineering and economics)
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II. Global Trends: IREG

International Ranking Experts Group (IREG) founded in
2004 in Washington, D.C.

Initiated by UNESCO-CEPES and IHEP- Institute for
Higher Education Policy (Washington, D.C.)

Platform for exchange between
1. people/institutions who are doing rankings and
2. people/institutions that are doing research on rankings

2006: „Berlin Principles on Ranking of Higher Education
Institutions”: guidelines for good ranking practice
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II. Global Trends: IREG

2008: Re-organisation of IREG
– “Observatory on Academic Rankings and Excellence”
– more formal structure; membership organisation
– acceptance of Berlin Principles will be membership
criterion for institutions
– regular open conferences

4rth IREG Conference will be held in June 2009 in
Astana, Kazakhstan
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Limitations to the extension of rankings ?
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Thank you very much !
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