EUA has published an exciting new report on the first experiences of U-Multirank of some of its member institutions. U-Multirank, as I’ve noted here before, is the European Commission commissioned (at significant expense) non-ranking ranking of universities:
The paper, which is based on a membership survey carried out in autumn 2014, concludes that opinions regarding UMR remain divided among EUA members. It also notes that U-Multirank is struggling with many of the same challenges as other rankings with regards to the comparability and reliability of data. Regardless of whether or not a university responding to the consultation took part in U-Multirank, all expressed major concerns regarding the consistent interpretation of the UMR indicators across different institutions and countries and thus the validity of the data provided.
The document further notes that EUA members that actively contributed to the data collection reported having used considerable resources in this task with many of them surprised by the amount of work this required.
In summary the issues raised in the report are:
- Some have participated, many haven’t.
- There are significant doubts about the validity, comparability and interpretation of the data.
- The effort and resources involved in collecting the data was much greater than expected.
- It is difficult to identify any clear benefits of the exercise or use for the data.
Not exactly a ringing endorsement of what seems like an increasingly expensive and unwarranted programme of work. We eagerly await further reports.