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van Vught, F., & Ziegele, F. (Eds). Multidimensional ranking: The design and development of U-Multirank. Springer Verlag GmbH, Heidelberg, 2012. ISBN: 978-94-007-3004-5 Pages: 194.
Published in April 2012, Multidimensional ranking is a result of the European Commission sponsored feasibility study on a new alternative ranking tool in higher education and research. It addresses rankings as a user-driven and multi-dimensional phenomenon and presents a comprehensive overview of the current state of the ‘industry’.
The book is divided into two parts. The first one describes the current situation in global rankings and carries out a thorough review of a variety of international rankings. Different methodologies are analysed on the basis of quality assurance and transparency in teaching and research, and the significance of the individual rankings is further discussed. The new U-Multirank concept is the focus of the second part of the book. It is based on the idea that higher education institutions cannot be evaluated using simplistic total values that fail to provide a full picture. The book introduces an alternative approach to rankings that is multi-dimensional and user-oriented. U-Multirank makes it possible to obtain a differentiated picture of the profiles and performance of HEIs, and it uses rank groups instead of individual ranking positions.