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News vom 30.03.2015

U - Multirank releases second global university rankings: Showcases diversity of university performance with largest global ranking

U-Multirank, the new global university ranking, released its second edition online today ( This unique new tool for comparing university performance internationally presents information on more than 1,200 higher education institutions, up from 850 just one year ago. The universities come from 83 countries, with more than 1,800 faculties and 7,500 study programmes in seven fields of study. With 21,000 data scores on the institutional level and 37,000 on the field-base level, U-Multirank is the largest global university ranking - and the most comprehensive information system on universities - in the world.

U-Multirank is the first global ranking offering a full picture on the diversity of university performance, providing users with data across five dimensions: teaching & learning, research, knowledge transfer, international orientation and regional engagement, for its seven fields-of-study: electrical and mechanical engineering, business studies and physics and, new this year, psychology, computer science and medicine.

Because U-Multirank presents data on 31 different indicators, it shows that Harvard and MIT are the top performers when it comes to the highest numbers of publications and patents. But looking more closely, it reveals that Reutlingen University of Applied Sciences in Germany has the highest percentage of co-publications with industry (showing the intensity of its co-operation with companies), and that the highest levels of student mobility are to be found in business schools like IESEG School of Management Lille in France. U-Multirank clearly shows that various aspects of excellence are to be found in many different universities and that the concept of the “best” university in the world depends on what you’re looking for.

"No single university is good at everything", said Professor Dr. Frans van Vught, U-Multirank’s joint project leader. "Only just over 8% of the institutions show a broad range of ‘very good’ performance (more than 10 ‘A’ scores). But U-Multirank also shows that 50% of them achieve one-to-five ‘A’ scores (very good) on specific indicators. So we can clearly see that while some universities are good at many things, most universities are good - even excellent - in specific areas.”

“This is great for students, university leaders and companies who want to employ graduates or carry out joint research. Students want to find the university that's best for them, according to their own preferences, and looking for the ‘number 1’ university in the world is misleading. What students need, what companies need, and what universities need themselves is the full picture. U-Multirank makes that possible,” said Professor Dr. Frank Ziegele, U-Multirank’s joint project leader.

In addition to its user-driven approach, U-Multirank offers 17 “readymade” rankings, up from 3 a year ago. Pre-designed by the U-Multirank team, they offer a quick overview on a specific aspect of university performance. At the institutional level these focus on: research and research linkages, international orientation and economic involvement; at the field level they address teaching and learning and international orientation in the seven fields of study. The readymade rankings are another way in which U-Multirank shows the diversity of university performance, rather than one-dimensional league tables.

Welcoming the new results, Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, said “U-Multirank has once again shown its added value. High-performing universities are crucial for Europe's return to economic growth, for educating young people to face the future with confidence and for injecting knowledge and innovation into our societies. I am very pleased that with the seed-funding for U-Multirank from the Erasmus+ programme, the EU is helping to bring new transparency to how universities perform so students can make well-informed study choices and universities can build on their strengths.”

Interview with Frank Ziegele (CHE) and Frans van Vught (CHEPS) about U-Multirank.

Background and further information
U-Multirank is developed and implemented by an independent consortium led by the Centre for Higher Education (CHE) in Germany, the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS) at the University of Twente and the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) from Leiden University, both in the Netherlands. The consortium is headed by Professor Dr. Frans van Vught of CHEPS and Professor Dr. Frank Ziegele of the CHE. Other partner organisations include the International Centre for Research on Entrepreneurship, Technology and Innovation Management (INCENTIM) from Catholic University Leuven, academic publisher Elsevier, the Bertelsmann Foundation, student advice organisation Push and software firm Folge 3, as well as a range of national partners and stakeholder organisations.

U-Multirank’s multi-dimensional approach compares university performance across a range of different activities grading them from “A” (very good) to “E” (weak). It does not produce a league table of the world’s “top 100” universities based on composite scores. Instead, it allows users to identify a university’s strengths and weaknesses, or the aspects that most interest them. The data included in U-Multirank are drawn from a number of sources, providing users with a comprehensive set of information: data supplied by institutions; data from international bibliometric and patent databases; and surveys of more than 85,000 students at participating universities - one of the largest samples in the world, offering students a unique peer perspective.

The third U-Multirank rankings will be released in March 2016. Institutions that would like to participate can express their interest on the U-Multirank website.

U-Multirank is supported by the European Commission and receives €4 million in funding from the European Union Erasmus+ programme for the years 2013-2017. The future goal is for an independent non-profit organisation to manage the ranking as an open source for international comparisons thereafter, serving the needs of various stakeholder groups in higher education.

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