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The 9th Annual International Symposium on University Rankings and Quality Assurance 2017

U-Multirank 4th Data Release

With the potential of higher education as a tool for societal development and economic growth, university ranking systems have become a vital information resource. To utilize this potential and facilitate a wider modernisation of higher education, the European Commission developed the European Multidimensional Global University Ranking - commonly known as U-Multirank – in the spring of 2014, a nuanced initiative for students and institutions in the contentious field of global rankings. In April last year, the project released its third and largest global ranking, revealing the leading role of European universities in knowledge creation and innovation. Based on dozens of criteria across five areas of performance, the results present comprehensive data on 1,300 higher education institutions and more than 10,000 study programmes from over 90 countries. Evidently, U-Multirank is a radical redefinition for the field, providing a global overview of universities’ positioning with a multi-dimensional focus on research, teaching and learning, internationalisation and regional engagement. The fourth global ranking, currently being finalized, is due for publication in March 2017.

However, alternative ranking methodologies and new quality assurance indicators to ranking have been introduced over the past few years. New ranking systems have also been implemented, for example in Russia, reflecting shifting global trends in higher education and the global labour market. These different approaches and initiatives mainly refer to professional reputation, performance and employability. By trying to encompass as many criteria as possible and guarantee educational quality, more and more universities are seeking to place themselves as high as possible within various international ranking systems. Nevertheless, there has been extensive debate on the ranking’s relevance, particularly on their potential uses and misuses as well as their impact on students, recognition of qualifications and choice of university partners.

This annual international symposium, now in its ninth year, will assess the challenges that lie ahead in creating and maintaining high quality, comprehensive and user-friendly systems for ranking universities, and will offer an invaluable opportunity to discuss the dynamics between international rankings and national initiatives developed in various countries. This conference will also discuss the relevance of rankings in shaping the development of higher education systems, with implications not only for elite institutions, but also for the significant number of universities who seek to be included or improve their position in various rankings. The symposium will support the exchange of ideas and encourage delegates to engage in thought-provoking and topical debate.


Delegates Will

  • Discuss current policy initiatives and priorities for comprehensive and multi-dimensional university ranking systems
  • Analyse the mechanisms for defining performance, professional reputation and status of universities through user-friendly rankings
  • Develop methods to facilitate student and staff participation, access to higher education and information
  • Strengthen the links between the EU U-Multirank initiative and the proactive modernisation of higher education at the European level
  • Take part in interactive discussions with key stakeholders in the field of higher education
  • Understand U-Multirank’s upcoming edition of rankings, methodology and implications
  • Build constructive partnerships and meet delegates to inspire cross-border collaboration in higher education
  • Share best practices from the implementation of the rankings system both nationally and internationally


22 Jun 2017 @ 10:00 am

22 Jun 2017 @ 04:30 pm

Duration: 6 hours, 30 minutes


Thon Hotel Brussels City Centre

Avenue du Boulevard 17


Organised by

Public Policy Exchange

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