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Frans van Vught, Don F. Westerheijden (Translation ed. by: Olga Perfilieva)

Multidimensional Ranking: a New Transparency Tool for Higher Education and Research

2012. Vol. 7. No. 1. P. 9–33 [issue contents]

The paper sets out to analyse the need for better “transparency tools” which inform university stakeholders about the quality of universities. The authors stated that the lack of relevant information about the quality of services provided by the universities leads to informational bias between universities and community thus weakening the social value of higher education. The better transparency tools thus could serve effectiveness of higher education increasing social benefits and outputs from higher education for the society. The paper gives an overview of what is understood by the concept of transparency tools and those that are currently available. The analysis of recent research presented in the paper shows that the results of the league tables and rankings are not enough for correct comparison of different universities operating at regional, national, international and global level. Authors critique current transparency tools’ methodologies, looking in detail at the question of data sources, the risks involved in constructing league tables and the challenges in using composite indicators. Despite the endless debates on quality of modern rankings and their methodologies the authors doesn’t argue for total refuse from the publication of the rankings’ results. On the contrary they emphasized that different stakeholders have being of great concern about the data on quality of education, educational programmes and research activities provided by the universities. The universities’ classifications and rankings thus could contribute to the development of quality assurance and quality control instruments in higher education if ensure the quality of their own methodologies. Authors argue in favour of developing a new principle for transparency tools: that of multidimensional ranking currently grounded for the U-map and U-multirank global activities. 

Citation: van Vught Frans , Westerheijden Don F. (2012) Mnogomernoe ranzhirovanie: novyy instrument prozrachnosti v oblasti vysshego obrazovaniya [Multidimensional Ranking: a New Transparency Tool for Higher Education and Research] INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS RESEARCH JOURNAL, 1, pp. 9-33 (in Russian)
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