The new ´multi-dimensional´ listing marks a departure from traditional approaches to ranking university performance, most of which focus disproportionately on research excellence. Instead, it will rate universities according to a broader range of factors, in five separate areas: reputation for research, quality of teaching and learning, international orientation, success in knowledge transfer (such as partnerships with business and start-ups), and contribution to regional growth. Some 500 universities from Europe and across the world are expected to sign up to take part in the ranking and the first results will be published in early 2014.
The Irish Presidency is strongly committed to helping support the roll-out of this next phase of U-Multirank. I urge higher education institutions to seize this opportunity to participate in building a ranking system which will shine a light on the many positive aspects of higher education activity across Europe for the benefit of students, institutional leaders, policy makers and other stakeholders.
In addition to providing an authoritative ranking comparing institutions, U-Multirank will also rate universities in four specific subject areas: business studies, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and physics. The list of specific disciplines will be gradually expanded in future years.
U-Multirank will receive a total of €2 million in EU funding from the Lifelong Learning Programme in 2013-14, with the possibility of a further two years of seed-funding in 2015-2016. The goal is for an independent organisation to run the ranking thereafter.