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.

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