3rd International Symposium on University Rankings University of Leiden, February 6-7, 2009 Moving beyond university rankings: developing world class university systems - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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3rd International Symposium on University Rankings University of Leiden, February 6-7, 2009 Moving beyond university rankings: developing world class university systems


... 34,000 University of Melbourne $74,843 $850,000,000 11,357 Australian National University $216,013 $5,180,000,000 23,980 University of Pennsylvania $227,500 $ ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: 3rd International Symposium on University Rankings University of Leiden, February 6-7, 2009 Moving beyond university rankings: developing world class university systems

3rd International Symposium on University
Rankings University of Leiden, February 6-7,
2009Moving beyond university rankingsdevelopin
g world class university systems
  • Tony Sheil
  • Senior Manager, Research Policy Strategy
  • Griffith University, Australia

Named in honour of Sir Samuel Griffith
(1845-1920), first Chief Justice of Australia
Established 1971 (however Griffith's Queensland
College of Art was established in 1881, and the
Queensland Conservatorium in 1957) Location
Queensland, Australia Student Population 37,786
International Students 8,847 (from 119
countries) Staff population 3,563 FTE Campuses
5 Brisbane and Gold Coast Research Centres 38
Along came Shanghai Jiao Tong!
Thomson Web of Science
Research Quality Assessment Exercise proposed
The reputation of Australia as a quality
provider of international education depends on it
being able to provide a clear and unequivocal
statement about its intention to maintain a
world-class university system. Review of
Australian Higher Education Final Report,
December 2008, p.124
Rather than debating whether Australia can
support two or three world-class universities,
the focus should switch to establishing a hundred
or more world-class research facilities and
research groups across the whole university
system. Review of the National Innovation
System, final report , September 2008
More of our universities should aim to be within
the top 100 internationally and I would like some
of our universities to aspire to the top
10. The Honourable Julie Bishop, MP Australian
Minister for Education, Science
Training August 30, 2007
Policy has changed dramaticallywhy?
We want our higher education system to be world
class so wherever students are in this country,
whatever institution theyre at, theyre getting
a world class education. The Honourable Julia
Gillard, MP Deputy Prime Minister and Minister
for Education, Employment and Workplace
Relations 20 February 2008
Australias top 20 exports 2007-08 financial year
( millions)
International students as a percentage of
tertiary type A enrolments (selected OECD
countries), 2006
What are the Shanghai Jiao Tong rankings telling
Of the worlds 10,000 universities, research
performance is concentrated in the top 500.
There is a band of around 200 world-class
research-intensive institutions. There is a
super-league of approximately 25 world-leading
institutions. These world leaders are
distinguished by large budgets, large endowments,
age, excellent staff to student ratios, and most
importantly, access to large pools of highly
developed human capital (staff and students).
What are the Shanghai Jiao Tong rankings telling
There are very few movers on the SJTU index.
Major non-US movers in the Top 100 (since 2003)
are the result of mergers and strategic
alliances Manchester (gained 49 places),
Copenhagen (21 places) Paris XI (24 places),
Paris VI (UPMC) (21 places). Access to top 25,
for the foreseeable future, is beyond most
nations. The very top global academic talent is
highly concentrated.
The fastest mover on the Shanghai index?
Concentration of resources a favoured strategy
China Project 985 431 number of university
consolidations between 1990 and 2006 US4.1
billion additional funding provided under the
China 985 Project 2016 the year Peking
University will reach top 100 status 10.5
Chinas share of world scientific output in 2006
(world rank 2nd) up from 5.1 in 2001 (world rank
5th) 50th world rank (2006) for citations per
Shanghai Index Top 500 Publications 2003 and
Shanghai Top 500 Hi-Ci Researchers 2003 and 2008
Profile of a leading university
Sowter, 2008
Budget (2006) leading US and Australian
Institution Total enrolments Budget (US) US per enrolment
Harvard University 20,042 3,000,000,000 149,685
Princeton university 7,145 1,109,490,000 152,282
Yale University 11,358 1,960,000,000 172,565
Stanford University 14,945 3,400,000,000 227,500
University of Pennsylvania 23,980 5,180,000,000 216,013
Australian National University 11,357 850,000,000 74,843
University of Melbourne 34,000 1,240,000,000 36,470
Small nations Highly Cited researchers and Nobel
Laureates (1901-2007)
Nation Highly Cited Researchers Nobel Prize winners
Australia 111 10
Belgium 38 9
Denmark 31 14
Finland 17 3
The Netherlands 98 18
Norway 14 10
Sweden 61 28
Switzerland 113 25
Harvard University 187 HiCis MIT 72 Nobel
prizes (current or former members)
Highly Cited researchers and economic wealth
Highly Cited researchers usually form clusters
Of Switzerlands 112 Hi-Cis (1.8 of world
Hi-Cis), 19 of these are in Physics which is 6.2
of world Hi-Cis in the field. Of Israels 47
Hi-Cis, 42 are in computer science and
mathematics. Ireland has 8 Hi-Cis, six of these
are in agricultural sciences. Nearly half of New
Zealands Hi-Cis are in Pharmacology. Most
nations, especially smaller ones, have a far
better chance of achieving top 10 status in a
targeted area than of creating a world leading
university. (e.g. Karolinska Institute is ranked
9th for clinical medicine on the SJTU field
  • Small economies such as Singapore, Australia and
    Switzerland cant compete with giant economies.
    In the global economy, small means you have to be
    focused and nimble, find a niche and work with
  • Professor Shih Choon Fong (2007)
  • President, National University of Singapore

Beyond university rankings university systems
Two university systems rankings emerged in
2008 QS SAFE National System Strength
Rankings Lisbon Council University Systems
Ranking. These form only part of the solution
to the one-dimensional vice of university
rankings. Improved university classifications and
benchmarking are needed to develop a more
sophisticated understanding of available
approaches to university development.
Then we can address the important strategic issues
What differentiated structures and organizational
arrangements, missions, and supporting strategies
are required at various points within our
university systems? What expectations should be
placed on institutions at various stages of
development by way of research performance,
learning experiences and outcomes, community
engagement activity, commercialisation and
internationalisation? What investment is
required to produce step change and lift
universities from all tiers to the next stage of
development? What are the optimal levels and
mixes of expenditure (government and private),
regulation and educational provision needed to
ensure that each institution meets its unique
Australia moving in the right direction
Key initiatives to spread the benefits across the
university system include Mission-based compact
agreements Establishment of an 11 billion
Education Investment Fund with dividends from
2009 with an objective to advance the
development of a world-class Australian higher
education sector Immediate distribution to all
universities of 500 million Better Universities
Renewal Fund, with follow-up funding of 500
million in 2009 Establishment of 1,000 Future
Fellowships for recruitment and retention of
early to mid-career researchers Doubling of
Australian Postgraduate Scholarships from 4,800
to 9,600 International focus to all Australian
Research Council schemes to promote global
awareness The Excellence in Research for
Australia (ERA) initiative, using a combination
of metrics and peer review, to fund research
excellence wherever it is found and to identify
Australias national capability in 154 Fields of
The choice for governments is to be a servant to
the vagaries of university rankings or have the
confidence to set their own agenda and move
beyond rankings. Focusing on world class systems
is one alternative in which institutions might
benefit from promoting their standing within a
strong university system. Policy change on its
own is insufficient the culture of comparison
(clean and free of self interest) still needs to
be developed. So do systems of classification and
global benchmarking.
Questions and discussion?
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