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A new ‘readymade’ ranking comparing internationalisation performance was released this month in U-Multirank. The formula of the ‘readymade rankings’ has been introduced for users’ convenience by providing a ‘finished’ rating operated by the U-Multirank Team without requiring the user to manually select indicators to define which university performs best. The ‘readymade’ rankings are an answer to the criticisms of complexity and ambiguity that the U-Multirank system inherently contains since its launch in May 2014 because of its user-driven approach that is open to infinite possibilities depending on the choices and the abilities of the user (see ACA Newsletter ‘Education Europe’, Edition May 2014). For the time being, three other readymade rankings have been produced: two for higher education institutions as a whole (Research & Research Linkages and on Economic Involvement), and one for a specific academic field (Business Studies programmes).
The newly published rankings on international orientation rates 237 U-Multirank higher education institutions by leaving the possibility to choose whether to compare whole institutions or specific disciplines (among the possible option for sectorial ranking there are: mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, physics and business studies). The general institutional ranking looks at universities’ performance over four indicators: student mobility, international academic staff, international joint publications, and international doctorate degrees. However, at the field level the indicators change and they are: international orientation of Master programmes, International research grants, International joint publications and International doctorate degrees. The data used are the same collected for the first edition of U-Multirank in May of the last year.
Only 27 universities out of the 237 achieve top scores on all four indicators. They are located in 12 different countries: France tops the list with 6 institutions followed by Austria (4), in third position Belgium and the Netherlands (3), then we have Switzerland, Sweden and Ireland (2), and finally Denmark, Hungary, Norway, Slovenia and the UK (1). Only 11 of these institutions feature in the top 200 of the 2014 Times Higher Education (THE) ranking. Although the top-notch institutions are a very diverse group, there are two types of institutions - the French Grandes Écoles and the specialised technological/science/agricultural universities – that are clearly over-represented in this ranking focused on internationalisation.