12 years with global university rankings - a panoramic (re)view and an update on recent developments

Brussels, 15 October 2015


Global university rankings are “here to stay”, as some higher education experts predicted more than a decade ago when the first global university ranking was launched by Shanghai Jiaotong University in 2003. In the past 12 years, not only have pioneers like ARWU (Shanghai Jiaotong ranking), THE and QS stayed in the scene of (global) higher education, we have also seen many more rankings, global and national, enter the ranking arena. As of 2014, ten global rankings were identified, with US News & World Report’s Best Global Universities being the latest addition.

The proliferation of global and national university rankings implies that higher education institutions (HEIs) can no longer turn a blind eye to rankings. In one way or another, HEIs have to either make use of rankings or minimise the damage caused by others using rankings to outshine them at home or abroad.  

On October 15, ACA’s 47th European Policy Seminar will present a panoramic (re)view of rankings. We will look at rankings used as information tools, rankings used as marketing tools, the mutation and multiplication of rankings in the past few years, and the latest methodological changes in the production of global university rankings. 

Knowing that many HEIs by now must have had their own experience in responding to global rankings, either proactively or reactively, a specific timeslot is reserved for the participants in this seminar to share their experiences from the HEIs’ point of view. Together with the Q&A time following each presentation, this intensive one-day seminar is promised to be an interactive platform for HEI practitioners, ranking providers, independent researchers, and higher education consultants to exchange the latest information and diverse views on all matters related to (global) rankings. 

Since 2003, ACA’s European Policy Seminar series has gradually established itself as one of the highly-valued open fora for stakeholders in higher education to exchange their knowledge and insights on hot topics in the field. Each of the seminars welcomes around 100 participants coming from all around Europe. We look forward to welcoming you as one of the next 100 to the rankings seminar!    

47th in the series “European Policy Seminars” of the Academic Cooperation Association