Ranking-system doubts

Research institutions opt out of European Union’s rankings scheme.

Members of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) do not plan to support the U-Multirank university ranking system launched last month by the European Union (see Nature 494, 273; 2013). LERU, which is based in Leuven, Belgium, and represents 21 universities across the continent, objects to what it calls a lack of reliable and objectively verifiable data in U-Multirank, problems in comparing institutions between countries, the temptation for universities to change policies or practices to improve their rankings and the burden on universities to collect data, says Kurt Deketelaere, secretary-general of the league. He says that such problems plague all existing university ranking systems, and notes that LERU pulled out of a U-Multirank advisory group in 2010 because its concerns were not addressed. “Since then, we have not seen any evidence of a substantive change of course which could lead us to revisit that decision,” says Deketelaere. Individual member universities can still participate in the programme if they choose, he says, but he notes that none has opted to join so far. –

Source: www.nature.com


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