U-Multirank, a new university ranking system, was launched last month under the Irish EU Presidency at a conference in Dublin. Proponents say the new system marks a radical departure from the traditional methods of ranking higher education institutions which tend to focus mainly on research performance.
U-Multirank attempts to overcome this limitation by measuring the performance institutions across five dimensions: reputation for research, quality of teaching and learning, international orientation, success in knowledge transfer (such as partnerships with business and start-ups), and contribution to regional economic growth. Already, several prominent research universities have indicated they will boycott the ranking exercise.
Mike Jennings, general secretary of the Irish Federation of University Teachers attending the Dublin conference on behalf of EI, said he was disappointed with the imbalance in participation.
“The attendance represented governments and higher education management in the main,” Jennings noted. “I pointed out strongly the unacceptability of ignoring Academic Staff when seeking the engagement of ‘stakeholders’.”