International Ranking experts are going to start quality audit of rankings
IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence launched the concept for a quality audit of rankings. Gero Federkeil, CHE ranking expert and Vice-President of IREG explains: “With regard to the diversity of existing rankings we need an instrument that creates transparency about the various rankings, about their quality, their methods and their limitations. The audit is based on a set of criteria and will be carried out by independent experts under the responsibility of IREG.” The first audits will probably be finished in autumn 2011.
IREG Ranking Audit Rules adopted
The Executive Committee of IREG Observatory on Ranking and Excellence adopted the IREG Ranking Audit Rules. The document describes in detail the criteria and procedure that will be used in assessing the quality of rankings.
The purpose of an audit, conducted by independent academic teams, will be to verify if a ranking under review was done professionally, and observes good practices, providing students, their parents and employers with information allowing them to compare and assess programs offered by higher education institutions. In their proceedings the audit teams will be guided by the Berlin Principles on Ranking of Higher Education Institutions, adopted at the IREG-2 conference in 2006.
The Ranking Audit rules have been adopted following broad and open discussions and consultations conducted at the IREG-5 conference in Berlin in October 2010 and on the IREG website. The IREG Ranking Audit is expected to:
- enhance the transparency of rankings;
- give users of rankings a tool to identify trustworthy rankings;
- improve the quality of rankings.
IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence is a non-for-profit association of ranking organization, universities and other organization interested in the improvement of the quality of international and national rankings of higher education institutions. The association has close to 20 member organizations from Asia, Europe and America.
The IREG Ranking Audit will be conducted on a voluntary basis. Any international or national ranking can ask to be audited. Rankings that pass robust evaluation will be entitled to use quality label IREG approved. The results of the first ranking audits are expected in the Fall 2011.
The IREG Ranking Audit Rules were announced at the UNESCO Global Forum Rankings and Accountability in Higher Education: Uses and Misuses, held at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, 16-17 May 2011.