Academic Ranking of World Universities | Wikipedia audio article

Academic Ranking of World Universities | Wikipedia audio article

October 11, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU),
also known as Shanghai Ranking, is one of the annual publications of world university
rankings. The league table was originally compiled and
issued by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2003, making it the first global university
ranking with multifarious indicators.Since 2009, ARWU has been published and copyrighted
annually by Shanghai Ranking Consultancy, an independent organization focusing on higher
education. In 2011, a board of international advisory
consisting of scholars and policy researchers was established to provide suggestions. The publication currently includes global
league tables for institutions and a whole and for a selection of individual subjects,
alongside independent regional Greater China Ranking and Macedonian HEIs Ranking. ARWU is regarded as one of the three most
influential and widely observed university rankings, alongside QS World University Rankings
and Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It is often praised for the objectivity, stability
and transparency of its methodology, but draws some criticism for heavily focusing on scientific
research and downplaying the quality of instruction; it also does not adequately adjust for the
size of the institution, so that larger institutions would tend to rank above smaller ones.==Global rankings=====
Overall=======
Methodology========
Reception====ARWU is praised by several media and institutions
for its methodology and influence. A survey on higher education published by
The Economist in 2005 commented ARWU as “the most widely used annual ranking of the world’s
research universities.” In 2010, The Chronicle of Higher Education
called ARWU “the best-known and most influential global ranking of universities”. EU Research Headlines reported the ARWU’s
work on 31 December 2003: “The universities were carefully evaluated using several indicators
of research performance.” Chancellor of University of Oxford, Chris
Patten and former Vice-Chancellor of Australian National University, Ian Chubb, said: “the
methodology looks fairly solid … it looks like a pretty good stab at a fair comparison.” and “The SJTU rankings were reported quickly
and widely around the world… (and they) offer an important comparative view of research
performance and reputation.” respectively. Philip G. Altbach named ARWU’s ‘consistency,
clarity of purpose, and transparency’ as significant strengths. While ARWU has originated in China, the ranking
have been praised for being unbiased towards Asian institutions.====Criticism====
The ranking is condemned for “relying too much on award factors” thus undermining the
importance of quality of instruction and humanities. A 2007 paper published in the journal Scientometrics
found that the results from the Shanghai rankings could not be reproduced from raw data using
the method described by Liu and Cheng. A 2013 paper in the same journal finally showed
how the Shanghai ranking results could be reproduced. In a report from April 2009, J-C. Billaut, D. Bouyssou and Ph. Vincke analyse how the ARWU works, using their
insights as specialists of Multiple Criteria Decision Making (MCDM). Their main conclusions are that the criteria
used are not relevant; that the aggregation methodology has a number of major problems;
and that insufficient attention has been paid to fundamental choices of criteria. The ARWU researchers themselves, N.C Liu and
Y Cheng, think that the quality of universities cannot be precisely measured by mere numbers
and any ranking must be controversial. They suggest that university and college rankings
should be used with caution and their methodologies must be understood clearly before reporting
or using the results. ARWU has been criticised by the European Commission
as well as some EU member states for “favour[ing] Anglo-Saxon higher education institutions”. For instance, ARWU is repeatedly criticised
in France, where it triggers an annual controversy, focusing on its ill-adapted character to the
French academic system and the unreasonable weight given to research often performed decades
ago. It is also criticised in France for its use
as a motivation for fusing universities into larger ones. Indeed, a further criticism has been that
the metrics used are not independent of university size, e.g. number of publications or award
winners will mechanically add as universities are grouped, independently of research (or
teaching) quality; thus a merger between two equally-ranked institutions will almost double
the merged institutions score and give it a higher ranking, without any change in quality.====Results=======Alternative===
As it may take much time for rising universities to produce Nobel laureates and Fields Medalists
with numbers comparable to those of older institutions, the Institute created alternative
rankings excluding such award factors so as to provide another way of comparisons of academic
performance. The weighting of all the other factors remains
unchanged, thus the grand total of 70%.===Subject===
There are two categories in ARWU’s disciplinary rankings, broad subject fields and specific
subjects. The methodology is similar to that adopted
in the overall table, including award factors, paper citation, and the number of highly cited
scholars.==Regional rankings==
Considering the development of specific areas, two independent regional league tables with
different methodologies were launched.===Greater China=======
Methodology========Results======Notes