The concept of university rankings is rapidly becoming one of the most important tools used by both students and academic professionals across the world. Currently, there are 33 countries which possess some form of rankings system, and the field continues to grow both domestically and internationally. Universities use them to define their performance, professional reputation and status, whilst students use them to choose their future place of study and research. What originated as a consumer product aimed at undergraduate domestic students has now become both a manifestation and a driver of global competition and a battle for excellence in itself.
As the higher education sector is recognised as one of the key drivers of economic growth, the productivity, quality and the status of research produced by institutions can be used as a vital indicator. Therefore, it is critical to develop a new methodology for assessing European Universities. Recognising the need for greater clarity, the European Commission has launched a new initiative that is independent from public authorities and universities. Its aim is the design and testing of a new multi dimensional university ranking system, one with a more global outreach.
It is hoped that through its emergence on the EU higher education agenda, a new comprehensive ranking system will facilitate not only greater transparency and accountability of universities but also help policymakers to develop longer term strategies as part of the broader HE modernisation agenda for Europe.
This annual Symposium, now in its third year, will analyse the latest findings of the U-Multirank project and consider the challenges that lie ahead in creating a comprehensive system that encompasses rankings, quality assurance systems and standards. Participants will explore the barriers that must be overcome in order to achieve the vision of creating a European Higher Education Area with a robust framework to improve the comparative quality of universities across Europe and their ability to compete in a global market.
The Centre for Parliamentary Studies welcomes the participation of all key partners, responsible authorities and stakeholders. The Symposium will support the exchange of ideas and encourage delegates to engage in thought-provoking topical debate while exchanging best practices and sharing lessons learned.