24 April 2013

NATURE Special: The future of Publishing

Nature 23 April 2013
Scientific publishing is being thrust into a fast-paced online world. Our extensive coverage in this special issue looks at the questions raised by the appearance of cheap open-access journals, including some that may be on the dark side – or even scams that impersonate real journals. Other articles look at how libraries are trying to keep up with the changes; at objections raised about the Creative Commons licences; at the next push to hasten open access; and more.

12 April 2013

Ratings at a Price for Smaller Universities

The New York Times, December 30, 2012

For a certain kind of European, Asian or Latin American institution, the release of the world university rankings each autumn is an exercise in humiliation. Though often long established, and with good local reputations, these schools lack the endowments, research facilities and sheer size needed to compete with U.S. and British powerhouses like Harvard, M.I.T., Cambridge and Stanford.
So when Quacquarelli Symonds, the London-based company behind the QS World University Rankings, announced “a new initiative that gives universities the opportunity to highlight their strength” by paying a fee for the chance to be rated on a scale of one to five stars, the business case was obvious. But so, say critics, was the potential for conflicts of interest. The fees were announced in 2010, though the initiative was not introduced fully until this year.

11 April 2013

Conference Report

EI 8th Higher Education and Research Conference, held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 25-27 September, 2012.


U-Multirank, a new university ranking system

U-Multirank, a new university ranking system, is being launched under the Irish EU Presidency in Dublin today by Ruairí Quinn, TD, Minister for Education and Skills and European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou. This new system marks a radical departure from the traditional methods of grading higher education institutions which tend to focus mainly on research performance. 500 universities worldwide are expected to sign up.
Given the increasing global demand for a ‘knowledge society’, public interest in the performance of higher education institutions (HEIs) has never been higher.  However, the current systems of global university rankings do not reflect the needs of all stakeholders – including students, business and governments. 
U-Multirank is addressing this by measuring the performance and excellence of HEIs across a variety of dimensions.  Five areas are measured: 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 growth.