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Understanding World University Rankings, Sichuan University, July 2014

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A review of World University Rankings and the implications for leading Chinese universities.

A review of World University Rankings and the implications for leading Chinese universities.

Published in: Education

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  • Ladies and gentlemen… [insert appropriate introduction]

    International university rankings have been around almost a decade and are amongst the most anticipated media releases in international higher education. Since their inception in 2003, the number of students studying outside their home country has increased by over a million and the ways in which they communicate and research study decisions bears little resemblance now to what it did then. To put things in perspective, Facebook was launched in 2004, YouTube in 2005 and Twitter in 2006. These are now central tools, amongst others, being used by institutions to get their messages to prospective international students.

    From the students’ perspective, they are beset on all sides by information from institutions trying to attract them to their university whilst what they need is an independent voice a picture on the offered opportunity that is not compiled by the organisation offering, and in some cases profiting from, that opportunity.

    Rankings go some way to assist that, and despite their limitations, they are a significant force for performance improvement in higher education world wide, but they are limited. Limited by the global availability of data which needs to be there for the majority of institutions in order to compile a ranking. This makes it impossible to use many good measures of student experience or facilities and inevitably results in international university rankings placing a particularly heavy emphasis on research.

    For a prospective international student today, this makes them interesting, but insufficient.
  • If asked, sign-up facility was brought back online with “where did you hear about this?” question earlier this year .The sign-up is available via www.iu.qs.com

    Over 200 institutions now supply us with lists each year, effectively eliminating any real bias – although lists and resulting respondents are checked as well
  • UK – strong growth in international students and citations
    Korea – big gains and a sixth university in the top 200
    China – 14 of the top 100 most productive universities in the world
  • UK – strong growth in international students and citations
    Korea – big gains and a sixth university in the top 200
    China – 14 of the top 100 most productive universities in the world
  • This schematic gives a broad overview of the QS Stars methodology. Core criteria are to be included in all audits and contribute 600 of the total 1000 points available. The specialist criteria section is also compulsory and is designed to focus on the specific discipline in which an institution is strongest. One of the two categories is required in the Learning Environment area and two of the four from the Advanced Criteria. Some of these choices facilitate the adaptability of the methodology – an engineering school might choose innovation where an arts college would choose culture.

    Indicators have been chosen to be as broad as possible whilst still being feasible to define and gather internationally. It is likely other measures will be added in the future.

    We have attempted to place a focus on the aspects of university strength that are considered conventionally more central – research, teaching etc. Then a read has been taken as to how effectively the indicator in question evaluates that aspect. To a certain extent the scores have been assigned based on the collective experience behind the Intelligence Unit – ... we have run this by a number of externals, including members of our international advisory board, and presented in a number of places to seek feedback – which has been largely positive.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Trusted.Independent.Global. Professor Nigel Healey Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International) Nottingham Trent University SHOULD SICHUAN UNIVERSITY CARE ABOUT INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY LEAGUE TABLES? Sichuan University 9 July 2014
    • 2. Trusted.Independent.Global. WHAT ARE UNIVERSITY LEAGUE TABLES AND WHY DO THEY MATTER?  An artificial way of ranking universities in order of “quality”  Data are gathered on indicators of quality:  Objective indicators: citations/faculty member, student: faculty ratio, etc  Subjective indicators: surveys of faculty views of quality  Indicators are weighted and summed to a score which is then normalised  Result is a “soccer style” league table
    • 3. Trusted.Independent.Global. QS World University Rankings 2013-14
    • 4. Trusted.Independent.Global. LEAGUES TABLES BORN IN USA TO SUPPORT STUDENT CHOICE – NOW GLOBAL 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Worldwide OECD G20 countries Europe North America Oceania Source: OECD and UNESCO Institute for Statistics for most data on non-OECD countries. 2.1m 4.3m International Student
    • 5. Trusted.Independent.Global. THE (2010) LEIDEN (2009) ARWU (2003) WEBO (2004) MINES PARIS TECH (2007) URAP (2010) QS (2004) SCIMAGO (2009) GLOBAL UNIVERSITIES RANKING (2009) HEEACT/ NTU (2007) HIGH PERFORMANCE UNIVERSITIES (2009) CWUR (2013) U- MULTIRANK (2014) UI GREENMETRIC (2010)
    • 6. Trusted.Independent.Global. THE GLOBAL AUDIENCE FOR WORLD UNIVERSITY RANKINGS PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS ACADEMICS PROSPECTIVE PARTNERS SCHOLARSHIP PROVIDERS CURRENT STUDENTS EMPLOYERS UNIVERSITY LEADERS HOME AND FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS ALUMNI
    • 7. Trusted.Independent.Global. CHALLENGES IN GLOBAL HIGHER EDUCATION ABSENCE OF COMPARABLE INTERNATIONAL DATA MORE COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT INFORMATION OVERLOAD LACK OF INDEPENDENT FILTERING TOOLS GENERIC MARKETING MESSAGES NEED TO DEVELOP INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS
    • 8. Trusted.Independent.Global. WHY DO LEAGUES TABLES MATTER TO SICHUAN UNIVERSITY? National Rank University QS-WUR 2014 1 Zhejiang University 165 2 Peking University 46 3 Tsinghua University 48 4 Shanghai Jiao Tong University 123 5 Fudan University 88 6 Nanjing University 175 7 Sun Yat-sen University, 384 8 Harbin Engineering University Not ranked 9 Wuhan University 401-410 10 Sichuan University Not ranked
    • 9. Trusted.Independent.Global. REMEMBER THE AUDIENCE FOR WORLD UNIVERSITY RANKINGS PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS ACADEMICS PROSPECTIVE PARTNERS SCHOLARSHIP PROVIDERS CURRENT STUDENTS EMPLOYERS UNIVERSITY LEADERS GOVERNMENT ALUMNI
    • 10. Trusted.Independent.Global. QS WORLD UNIVERSITY RANKING OF SELECTED SICHUAN UNIVERSITY PARTNERS QS WUR 2014 加州大学伯克利分校 (University of California, Berkeley) 25 科罗拉多州立大学 (Colorado State University) 394 华盛顿大学 (University of Washington) 59 新墨西哥大学 (University of New Mexico) 421-430 科罗拉多大学 (University of Colorado) 160 171 380 匹兹堡大学(University of Pittsburgh) 106 堪萨斯州立大学(Kansas State University) 471-480 亚利桑那州立大学(Arizona State University) 293 康涅狄格大学(University of Connecticut) 密西根州立大学(Michigan State University) United States
    • 11. Trusted.Independent.Global. QS WORLD UNIVERSITY RANKING OF SELECTED SICHUAN UNIVERSITY PARTNERS QS WUR 2014 英国伦敦大学玛丽皇后学院(Queen Mary University of London) 115 布拉德福德大学(University of Bradford) 501-550 布鲁内尔Brunel大学(Brunel University) 360 Newcastle纽卡斯尔大学(Newcastle University) 129 Strathclyde斯特拉斯大学(The University of Strathclyde) 257 曼彻斯特大学(University of Manchester) 33 曼彻斯特城市大学(Manchester Metropolitan University) 701-830 诺丁汉大学 (University of Nottingham ) 75 诺丁汉特伦特大学(Nottingham Trent University) 701-830 英国伦敦大学皇家霍洛威大学(Royal Holloway, University of London) 265 United Kingdom
    • 12. Trusted.Independent.Global. THE “Halo EffEct” (1920) GEORGE E.P. BOX “Accidental Statistician” 1919-2013 There are over 20,000 recognised universities in the world Users look for independent measures of quality World university rankings are one of the ways of identifying quality “Essentially all models are wrong, but some are useful”
    • 13. Trusted.Independent.Global. QSAPPROACHTORANKING UNIVERSITIES WORLD CLASS UNIVERSITY
    • 14. Trusted.Independent.Global. ACADEMIC REPUTATION FACULTY STUDENT CITATIONS PER FACULTY EMPLOYER REPUTATION INT’L STUDENTS INT’L FACULTY
    • 15. Trusted.Independent.Global. SURVEY MEASURES 15 SURVEY RESPONSE GROWTH ACADEMIC EMPLOYER 20 10 20 11 20 12 15,050 5,007 33,785 16,744 46,079 25,564 GEOGRAPHI C BALANCE EMPHASIS APPLIED THROUGH WEIGHTING INT’L RESPONSES RESPONSES EXCLUSIVE TO SUBJECT SPECIFIC SUBJECT RESPONSES EMPLOYERS TARGETING SUBJECT 20 13 62,084 27,957
    • 16. Trusted.Independent.Global. JOB CLASSIFICATION OF ACADEMIC RESPONDENTS 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% President / Vice-Chancellor Vice-President / Deputy Vice-Chancellor Senior Administrator Head of Department Professor / Associate Professor Assistant Professor Senior Lecturer Lecturer Research Specialist Administrator / Functional Manager Admissions Officer Research Assistant Teaching Assistant Librarian / Library Assistant Other
    • 17. Trusted.Independent.Global. FACULTY AREA 16% ARTS & HUMANITIES 25% ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY 14% LIFE SCIENCES & MEDICINE 20% NATURAL SCIENCES 25% SOCIAL SCIENCES & MANAGEMENT
    • 18. Trusted.Independent.Global. TOP 10 SUBJECTS 0.0% 1.0% 2.0% 3.0% 4.0% 5.0% 6.0% Physics & Astronomy Computer Science Biological Sciences Business & Management Studies Engineering - Electrical & Electronic Mathematics Education Medicine Chemistry Economics & Econometrics
    • 19. Trusted.Independent.Global. 20.3 years YEARS IN ACADEMIA Up to 5 years 5 - 10 years 10 - 20 years 20+ years
    • 20. Trusted.Independent.Global. EMPLOYERS SECTOR DISTRIBUTION 0.6% 5.2% 11.2% 2.2% 2.7% 6.7% 5.4% 5.9% 1.1% 7.6% 2.0% 2.4% 3.3% 5.6% 7.1% 2.7% 3.1% 3.3% 2.2% 2.8% 17.3% Aerospace / Defence Construction / Property Consulting / Professional Services Electronics / High Technology Energy Financial Services / Banking FMCG IT / Computer Services Law Manufacturing / Engineering Media / Entertainment & Arts Metals / Mining Pharmaceuticals / Biotech &… Public Sector / Govt. / Non-profit Recruitment / HR services Retail Telecoms Transportation / Distribution Travel / Leisure / Hospitality Utilities Other
    • 21. Trusted.Independent.Global. NUMBER CRUNCHING  Faculty areas combined with equal weight  International responses carry extra weight  Survey conducted in 13 languages  Favours balanced broad subject base  Promotes institutions with global resonance  Reveals strengths beyond indexed journals ARTS & HUMANITIES ENGINEERING & TECHNOLOGY LIFE SCIENCES & MEDICINE NATURAL SCIENCES SOCIAL SCIENCES & MANAGEMENT
    • 22. Trusted.Independent.Global. RESPONSE CHANNELS PREVIOUS RESPONDENTS JOB SITES SIGN UP FACILITY MEDIA PARTNERS QS DATABASES INSTITUTION SUPPLIED LISTS
    • 23. Trusted.Independent.Global. 2012/13 TO 2013/14: CHANGES IN TOP 20 1 MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (MIT) 1 2 HARVARD UNIVERSITY 2 3 UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE 3 4 UCL (UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON) 4 5 IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON 5 6 UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD 6 7 STANFORD UNIVERSITY 7 8 YALE UNIVERSITY 8 9 UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO 9 10= CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (CALTECH) 10 10= PRINCETON UNIVERSITY 11 12 ETH ZURICH (SWISS FEDERAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY) 12 13 UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA 13 14 COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY 14 15 CORNELL UNIVERSITY 15 16 JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY 16 17= UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH 17 18= UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 18 19= ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FÉDÉRALE DE LAUSANNE (EPFL) 19 19= KING'S COLLEGE LONDON (KCL) 20
    • 24. Trusted.Independent.Global. AVG SHIFT IN POSITION WITHIN RANGE 2.6 4.4 7.5 11.0 15.3 17.9 0 5 10 15 20 25 50 100 200 300 400 500 AVGSHIFTINPOSITION RANKED WITHIN 2010 2011 2012 2013
    • 25. Trusted.Independent.Global. KEY TRENDS & OBSERVATIONS SINGAPORE: Two in the top 50 US: Middle slipping KAZAKHSTAN: Gaining recognition CONTINENTAL EUROPE: Resurgent UK: Thriving SOUTH KOREA: Asia’s new star CHINA: Huge research volumes JAPAN: Continued decline
    • 26. Trusted.Independent.Global. KEY TRENDS & OBSERVATIONS LATIN AMERICA: On the rise AUSTRALIA: Signs of further polarisation NETHERLANDS: Six in top 100 SINGAPORE: Top in Asia RUSSIA: A sleeping giant awakes SCANDINAVIA: Quietly brilliant
    • 27. Trusted.Independent.Global. AVERAGE PAPERS PUBLISHED (SCOPUS): RUNNING TO STAND STILL? 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000 30,000 2011 2012 2013 AVG.PAPERSPUBLISHED-SCOPUS Top 100 Top 200 Top 300 Top 400 Top 500 15.4% increase in two years
    • 28. Trusted.Independent.Global. AVERAGE FTE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: RUNNING TO STAND STILL? 1,000 1,500 2,000 2,500 3,000 3,500 4,000 4,500 5,000 5,500 2010 2011 2012 2013 AVG.FTEINTERNATIONALSTUDENTS Top 100 Top 200 Top 300 Top 400 Top 500 22.8% increase in three years
    • 29. Trusted.Independent.Global. ASIA’S LEADERS 33 30 30 31 28 25 24 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 RANKING HISTORY 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Tokyo NUS HKU
    • 30. Trusted.Independent.Global. FAST CLIMBERS 33 30 30 31 28 25 24 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 RANKING HISTORY 15 65 115 165 215 265 315 365 415 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 SKKU PUC Chile Groningen
    • 31. Trusted.Independent.Global. RESEARCH PRODUCTIVITY: AVERAGE SCOPUS PAPERS FOR TOP 20 UNIVERSITIES 4000 6000 8000 10000 12000 14000 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Avg.Scopusindexedpapersfortop20universities2009- 2013 China Japan South Korea United States
    • 32. Trusted.Independent.Global. QS STARS ADOPTED IN OVER 40 COUNTRIES
    • 33. Trusted.Independent.Global. CORE CRITERIA TEACHING 6 indicators 150 EMPLOYABILITY 3 indicators 150 RESEARCH 3 indicators 150 INTERNATIONAL’N 7 indicators 150 EMPLOYTY 1000 FACILITIES 6 indicators 100 ONLINE/ DISTANCE 6 indicators 100 DISCIPLINE RANKING 2 indicators 150 ACCREDITATIONS 2 indicators 50 ACCESS 4 indicators 50 ENGAGEMENT 4 indicators 50 INNOVATION 4 indicators 50 CULTURE 4 indicators 50 Detailed methodology awards 1,000 points across 51 indicators in up to 12 categories LEARNING ENVIRONMENT CHOOSE ONE ADVANCED CRITERIA CHOOSE TWO SPECIALIST CRITERIA
    • 34. Trusted.Independent.Global. SOME OBSERVATIONS AS AN ACADEMIC: AGAINST RANKINGS  What’s wrong with World University Rankings?  Arbitrarily add up apples and oranges to make a “score”  Take no account of mission – league tables originate in soccer where everyone plays the same game to the same rules  Favour universities with medical and natural sciences where Scopus papers / citations are high  Favour English language publications  Make money for newspapers and rankings agencies
    • 35. Trusted.Independent.Global. SOME OBSERVATIONS AS AN ACADEMIC: FOR RANKINGS  Why engage with World University Rankings?  There are over 20,000 universities in the world  Prospective students and partners, governments and scholarship agencies look for independent measures of quality to inform choice  World university rankings are one of the most widely- used ways of identifying quality  Your competitors WILL use their league table position for competitive advantage  Not being ranked (or being ranked low relative to your competitors) damages your reputation
    • 36. Trusted.Independent.Global. SOME OBSERVATIONS AS AN ACADEMIC: IMPROVING RANKINGS (1)  Understand the quality indicators; if these align with your mission, focus strategy on improving these indicators (eg, Scopus papers per year, international students / faculty)  Benchmark your competitors: understand why they are higher ranked than your university  Manage the data you provide to rankings agencies: understand that they want and why (includes details of academic and employer reviewers)
    • 37. Trusted.Independent.Global. SOME OBSERVATIONS AS AN ACADEMIC: IMPROVING RANKINGS (2)  Raise your university’s profile with international partners, peer academics and employers  UIP brings hundreds of leading academics to Sichuan University: use them as your ambassadors 普通话谢谢你