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U-Multirank releases second global rankings

U-Multirank, a multi-dimensional university ranking database, released its second edition of global university rankings on Monday.

A screenshot taken from U-Multirank, allowing users to create their personalised university rankings

"We are by far the largest database on higher education in the world"

More than 1,200 higher education institutions from 83 different countries are documented on the website – an increase from 850 institutions last year.

Launched last May, U-Multirank seeks to recognise that universities are merited for different qualities. Instead of producing a fixed league table based on overall performance, users are able to select different categories to create personalised rankings.

Since last year, the number of indicators has increased to 31, allowing users to compare in areas such as regional engagement, and teaching and learning.

Users are able to select different categories to create personalised rankings

Three new fields of study were also added this year: computer science, psychology and medicine, allowing users to further compare universities based on seven subjects.

“We are by far the largest database on higher education in the world,” said Frans van Vught, joint project leader of U-Multirank, to The PIE News.

“Already now with 1,210 or so institutions, it’s the largest database on higher education worldwide. There is nothing already of a comparable size. Existing rankings are of course limited to the Top 100, Top 200 institutions and this is much larger.”

The platform, which is receiving funding from the European Commission totalling €4m for the period 2013-2017, has seen a significant amount of interest since releasing its second batch of rankings this week.

“We now have 500,000 page viewers,” van Vught said. Compared to last year, we had 110,000 visitors during the first two days after the launch. So it’s increased rapidly.”

“We are trying to do something else to provide a different perspective, and a perspective that is user-driven”

After popular demand from users, the platform has also increased its number of ‘readymade’ rankings based on particular criteria from three last year to 17 this year.

“We’re trying to reach out as much as we can, to show that not necessarily are rankings based on research reputation and not necessarily are all rankings league tables,” added van Vught.

“We are trying to do something else to provide a different perspective, and a perspective that is user-driven.”

Despite the increase in participants, many universities across Europe are still sceptical of the rankings’ data and their ability to measure similar indicators across different universities.

A recent study by the European University Association that surveyed 126 universities, some who had participated in the rankings and some who hadn’t, revealed that many are waiting to join the initiative until they see how it develops.

Those that did participate said that because the rankings are unique to any other, a considerable amount of resources and man-power were needed to collect the data.

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