Students welcome a new European university information tool
BRUSSELS – U-multirank is a pioneer attempt to incorporate all dimensions of the teaching and learning process in university rankings. The European Students´ Union (ESU) welcomes this new project that has great potentials.
“U-multirank will highlight universities that have until now been disregarded in the existing measures used in global ranking systems, overlooking the strengths of those institutions. Higher education and research institutions have different profiles and missions. Any information tools developed to rate the performance of various institutions should thus reflect the multidimensional function of higher education,” says Fernando Miguel Galán Palomares, Vice-Chairperson of ESU.
How U-multirank is different
ESU has before criticised conventional university rankings that give too much importance to institutions’ performance in research activities and too little to the students’ experience or the quality of teaching and learning. Furthermore, university rankings have often given more leverage to certain academic fields and to English language universities than others.
However, U-multirank challenges those conventional forms of university rankings by developing a user-driven information tool that reflects much more individual needs and students’ cohorts. This approach is welcomed by students because it makes it possible to create more transparent information tools for the various strengths that universities possess, instead of making league tables of higher education institutions. The academic fields covered in U-multirank will be also greatly expanded, including humanities and arts, which is another positive element of the project.
ESU supports the further development of this tool, especially the teaching and learning dimension of it, and will hopes to use data from its own research projects to feed the indicators used for that purpose.
“U-multirank is not just yet another ranking system of universities, or similar to those that already exists around the world. It is an attempt to move university information tools closer to the students’ reality, needs and expectations. ESU will support further work in that area, so the new system can reflect students’ wishes,” says Galán Palomares.
850 higher education institutions
ESU has been involved in the consortium of organisations that developed U-multirank and has also been included in an Advisory Board of the European Commission on this subject, together with other experts.
“Students are not a homogenous group. They have different needs and preferences. We do therefore strongly believe that U-multirank has the possibility to become an extremely useful tool for students all over the world,” Galán Palomares concludes.
The U-multirank system was officially launched today and includes information on more than 850 higher education institutions, 1000 faculties and 5000 study programmes from 70 countries. It compares the performance of those institutions on a range of activities, by giving them grades from “A” (very good) to “E” (weak). Since those institutions are rated for each of those activities, no single league table is produced for the top universities. For more information about U-multirank, please visit its website www.umultirank.org
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The European Students’ Union, headquartered in Brussels, is the umbrella organisation of 47 national unions of students from 39 European countries. ESU represents and promotes the educational, social, economical and cultural interests of students at the European level. Through its member unions, ESU represents over 11 million students in Europe. To find out more about ESU, follow us on Twitter @ESUtwt, check out or Facebook page or visit www.esu-online.org. ESU celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2012.