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Nordic universities and international rankings. What explains the nordic placements and how do universities relate to these rankings?

Fredrik Niclas Piro, Elisabeth Hovdhaugen, Mari Elken, Gunnar Sivertsen, Mats Benner, Bjørn Stensaker, Nordiske universiteter og internasjonale universitetsrangeringer: Hva forklarer nordiske plasseringer og hvordan forholder universitetene seg til rangeringene?, Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education, 2014. Pages: 180

This study, commissioned by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, analyses Norwegian universities’ placements on international university rankings, in particular compared to universities in other Nordic countries. The first part of report provides in-depth analysis of the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities and the World University Rankings produced by Times Higher Education, concluding that the placements are to a large degree based on a subjective weighting of factors, often with a weak relationship to the quality of education and research. The second part of the study discusses the situation of research in Norwegian universities and how they currently use the rankings, providing policy and strategy  recommendations.