Providing researchers, institutions, funders, and governments with a scientifically sound ranking of institutional quality streamlines access to the data they need to make decisions around research investment.
Whether it’s the Premier League in Europe or the NFL in the United States, fans follow closely the rankings and team statistics. From Paris St-Germain to the Patriots, there are perpetual contenders, and every year, there are disappointments and even shocking collapses.
For universities around the world, parents and professors watch school rankings as closely as any football fan. Prestige matters, of course, and even more, the research funding that follows. A recently-released survey of global academic rankings tells us who’s up, who’s down, and who should be looking in the rearview mirror.
At research and advisory firm Outsell Inc., Jo McShea is Vice President & Lead Analyst focused on science, technology, medical and healthcare sectors. She examined the new ShanghaiRanking survey and spoke with CCC’s Chris Kenneally about why these standings really matter.
“The dominance of US institutions in the rankings is a clear headline finding, emphasizing its position as the leading high-quality research nation. The continued rise of China is also notable. For the UK, it is a cause for concern now that China has overtaken it in terms of the number of universities in the overall rankings. This is particularly true as Brexit-related research funding worries continue,” McShea explains.
“Providing researchers, institutions, funders, and governments with a scientifically sound ranking of institutional quality enables efficiencies in terms of streamlining access to the data they need to make decisions around investment. It also enables transparent measurement around institutional and researcher collaboration, quality, and impact,” she notes.