Blog for the third mission

There are several commonly accepted ranking systems for the First and Second Missions, which provide indicators to measure excellence in Higher Education Institutions around the world. Rankings improve quality assurance by allowing the institutions to understand their own performance, develop best practices, and provide effective and efficient value to society. They also provide quality indicators to governments, society and industry. However, there are no commonly agreed indicators or methodologies to assess quality in Third Mission activities.

This project will develop such indicators, promoting excellence in Third Mission activities, and encouraging Higher Education Institutions to share best practices across Europe.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Facing the Rankings - Conference, 20-21 January 2011, Vienna

The interactive conference "Facing the rankings - Using benchmarking tools for strategic positioning" (Vienna, 20-21 January 2011) will look at the value of benchmarking as a modern management tool among the range of transparency tools such as classifications, rankings and benchmarking exercises while at the same time discuss the relevance and strength of indicators, focusing more specifically on internationalization, university-enterprise cooperation and regional innovation and linking them directly to the work carried out in the U-Map and U-Multirank projects.
More information on the Project and Conference website.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Identifying the Best: The CHE ExcellenceRanking 2010

The CHE Centre for Higher Education Development (Gütersloh/Germany) has designed an “ExcellenceRanking”, a ranking of a selected group of European Universities. The CHE applied a two-step approach for analysis. First, all European departments in the surveyed fields were compared by a few general indicators. Second, for those departments that excelled in these indicators, an indepth analysis was run based on an institutional questionnaire and a student survey. The first issue of the ranking, released in 2007, concentrated on the natural sciences and mathematics. The second issue, released in 2009, was dedicated to economics, political science and psychology. In 2010, the study was repeated for the natural sciences. The paper issued in October 2010 covers the results from the 2009 and 2010 issues.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Ranking on US doctoral programs

The Chronicle has published its interactive ranking on US doctoral programs for 2010. About 5,000 university doctoral programs, in 59 fields of study, have been ranked in terms of quality by the National Research Council. The Chronicle is a weekly newspaper with news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty and administrators.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Global rankings system methodology reflects universities’ core missions

Times Higher Education magazine has just published the full and final methodology for its 2010 World University Rankings. Weightings for all 13 indicators revealed.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Interim Report from CHERPA

You can find the interim report as well as the list of inidcators of the new EU-Ranking here

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Times Higher Ranking under fire

The World University Ranking of the British Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) produces a worldwide ranking of 200 universities based on five qualitative and quantitative indicators. The ranking list was compiled for the first time in 2004. Altogether, analysis covered over 600 universities, which were identified by scientific experts. In addition to a global ranking, rankings by scientific fields were made. Unlike the Shanghai ranking list, the THES ranking list includes a globally executed Peer Review: about 9000 academics from five continents have been asked to nominate leading universities in the fields in which they are considered experts. THE tries to explain in a positive way why a change is needed:
In fact the problem is always the DATA. Long time before Phil Baty's statement about the errors and mistakes in the THE ranking in the ZEIT we knew that rankings are on fire. Some likes them some hate them, but we have to leave with them. The swiss initiative to understand how rankings work may halb to create an understanding of "live together". We still know that rankings have to be improved as HE has to be changed as well. Misunderstnading, critisisms, errors and discussions are the engings of this. We have to deal with this new situation as the swiss did it. We have to live with rankings so we have to inform, use and improve....

New RANKING website for CH universties

A new initiative in Schwitzerland tries to explain and promote rankings. The website gives a good overview about the well knowned rankings like shanghai or Times Higher. The web site looks also behing the results and explain the different methodologies and intentions. A good initiative to watch closer the enemy RANKING.

Friday, 28 May 2010

recent publication on college rankings

A pritty good report and overview related to rankings.
David Webster’s definition of “academic quality rankings.” For Webster, an academic
quality ranking system has two components:
1. It must be arranged according to some criterion or set of criteria
which the compiler(s) of the list believed measured or reflected academic
2. It must be a list of the best colleges, universities, or departments
in a field of study, in numerical order according to their supposed
quality, with each school or department having its own individual
rank, not just lumped together with other schools into a handful of
quality classes, groups, or levels
read more:

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Project Meeting in Torino

The E3M project team had a meeting last week discussing the indicators which were developed within the subroups of the project. We defined tree different dimensions of the third mission: social engagement, continuing education and technology transfer and innovation. We have "nominated" around 100 indicators related to these fields. We will use the Delphi method to reduce the number of indicators and ask external experts about their opinion. This is the upocommig task for the next months. We all are looking forward to the different views and opinions....

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Bill Clinton about university services

"As part of Clinton Global Initiative University, the former president said he is trying to instill the idea "that doing public service as a private citizen should be a part of the mission of every college and university in the country and should be a part of the mission of every citizen who leaves them." Find the full article here

Monday, 19 April 2010

MODERMODERN Conference Announcement “Assuring the quality of internationalisation” Amsterdam, 7 May 2010

The MODERN conference “Assuring the quality of internationalisation” is the third in a series of five
conferences organised by the MODERN European platform in higher education modernisation.
MODERN is a three-year EU-funded structural network project in the EU Lifelong Learning Programme,
developed under the leadership of ESMU, in a consortium with 9 core partners, 28 associate partner
European associations and academic providers of higher education management (HEM) training
For further information on the MODERN platform and the online registration for the conference,
please consult the MODERN website:

As internationalisation grows in importance in higher education and takes on a more mainstream role,
there is a growing expectation for universities to be able to define the added value of the
international dimension and measure the impact of internationalisation on the institutional mission.
Quality remains a controversial concept with a range of definitions and purposes – whether it is
equated with excellence, fitness for purpose, value for money or the ability to transform.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

GLOBAL: Internationalisation or westernisation?

Yojana Sharma
A new awareness is emerging among policy-makers and university heads that a headlong rush towards internationalisation is not always best for students, universities and the countries involved. This year’s Going Global conference debated whether internationalisation was just a euphemism for the ‘westernisation’ of higher education.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

The U-Mulitrank Project (CHERPA)

Following the discussions about methodological
flaws of existing international rankings and the
need for transparency about the emerging European
higher education area, the European Commission
launched a call for tender to develop a new, multidimensional
global university ranking. The tender
was won by the CHERPA network, a consortium of
CHE (Centre for Higher Education Development,
Germany), CHEPS (Center for Higher Education
Policy Studies, University Twente, the Netherlands),
CWTS (Center for Science and Technology Studies,
Leiden University, the Netherlands), the research
group INCENTIM at the Catholic University Leuven
(Belgium) and OST (Observatoire de Science et
Technique, Paris)

Leagues apart by The Economist

How tall is my ivory tower? University league tables give different answers...

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

SPECIAL REPORT: Rise of the foreign doctoral student

"International students now comprise a significant and growing proportion of the postgraduate population in universities around the globe. This is especially so in certain fields such as the physical sciences and engineering, and where students are undertaking masters and PhDs by research.

Many postgraduate courses, and even entire faculties, would have collapsed for want of local students had not the flood of foreigners arrived to bolster numbers and inflate university revenues. While deans and heads of department, as well as governments, generally welcome the highly able foreign graduates who often stay on as researchers, many staff are concerned by the reliance on other countries to provide them with students because their own see no future in obtaining a research degree." Read more

Monday, 22 February 2010

EU-Drivers Call for expression

The EU-DRIVERS is a three year EU-funded Structural Network project (2010-2012) under the Lifelong Learning Programme (ERASMUS) seeking to:
  • create a regional innovation virtual community for exchanging good practices among all stakeholders
  • find solutions for improved regional cooperation between universities, private-sector companies and regional governments
  • disseminate cutting-edge information on good practices for effective regional partnerships.
 EU-DRIVERS will produce:
  • A central place for information (literature, examples, etc.)
  • New models for strategic partnerships
  • Annual reports on regional innovation issues with case studies and concrete examples of implementation of the knowledge triangle at the discipline level
  • Annual conferences for exchange of good practices and networking
 This will be achieved through:
- A Regional Innovation Virtual Community - A Community of Practice
- Ten Pilot Regional Innovation Partnership Projects – Universities, private companies and regional governments.
- Four Two-day leadership workshops
- Three Annual Reports on the latest knowledge on regional innovation issues, based on desk research, relevant literature review and example of good practices.
- Three Conferences on Regional innovation
The call for expression for the pilots is already online on
Deadline is the 31 of March 2010!!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Third mission ranking on IREG5

The 5th Meeting of the International Rankings Expert Group (IREG-5) is dedicated to: "The Academic Rankings: From Popularity to Reliability and Relevance"   
will be held in Berlin, 6-8 Ocotber. 
It will be the fifth time that representatives of the ranking organizations [“rankers”], experts on quality assurance and academic excellence as well as stake-holders and interested parties on academic rankings will meet to discus various topics concerning a phenomenon which is now an important factor in higher education analyses, policy-making and practice.

In a relatively brief period of time “academic rankings” become a global phenomenon. The proliferation of rankings is one aspect of the growing demand for broadly-understood information about higher education and its institutions. Evidently, rankings are only one of a number of providers of information about higher education. At the same time research findings studying rankings demonstrate that different groups of stake-holders - politicians, employers, academic leaders, students and their families, etc. are in need of quantified evidence about quality, performance and characteristics of the whole institutions or specific study program. Attractiveness or appeal of rankings is in its synthetic interpretation of the complex phenomenon.
The third mission ranking project will be also presented during the conference by Marko Mahrl and Attila Pausits 

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

EUA will prepare a new "annual review of internaitonal higher education rankings"

"Universities are increasingly confronted by a plethora of ranking and classification initiatives – both at the national and international level.
While many university leaders have reservations about rankings, their methodologies and criteria, there is a growing recognition that such initiatives are here to stay. Research has also shown that despite the acknowledged shortcomings of their criteria, rankings are having an increasing impact on decision-making and activities in universities across Europe.
This is why EUA has decided that there is need to respond on behalf of the 850 universities it represents by publishing an ‘annual review of international higher education rankings’."

Welcome to the new blog

This is a new initiative to share and discuss issues and new ideas related to the third mission of universities and a new ranking methology, which is under development within an European LLP project called E3M