A few remarks on ARWU*
8 Pages
English
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A few remarks on ARWU*

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8 Pages
English

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Edouard Mathieu. Head of the Benchmarking Center. Invest in France Agency. * ARWU: Academic Ranking of World Universities 2005. A few remarks on ARWU ...

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A few remarks on ARWU*
Edouard Mathieu Head of the Benchmarking Center Invest in France Agency
* ARWU: Academic Ranking of World Universities 2005
Some remarks on methodological issues
is a ARWU usefulThe difficulties are idea. honestly documentedby prof. Liu. Some will be hard to overcome.
 Among difficulties: theattribution of citationsin (example Paris: Paris6 or UPMC, careers in CNRS laboratories, College de France, Polytechnique…). Does Shanghai Jiao Tong University benefit from a partner in France to help with the French attributions?
Nobel and Fields medals are skewed indicators: only 12 universities score > 50 for alumni ; 305 universities score 0 ; 372 universities score 0 at awarded staff. Beyond the top 10, these variables do not discriminate academic performances.
Only one measure for all world diverse universities and schools makes global ranking difficult to interpret. We should © AFII 2005 75008 Parisrather compare comparable units. 2, avenue Vélasquez
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How to gain 10 ranks? Paris-6 versus UT at Austin
Ranking. Paris6 (Université Pierre et Marie Curie, UPMC) ranks46, UT Austin (The University of Texas at Austin) ranks36. Why?
Enrollment. Paris630,000and medical students); (science UT Austin50,000 (architecture, liberal arts, business, law, natural sciences, engineering, pharmacy, nursing…)
Employees. Paris6 :4,000 faculty and 3,000 staff; UT Austin : 3,000 faculty and 18.000 staffmuseum, library, (laboratories, sports…). UT Austin enjoysbig budget and managing powers.
Paris6 much better at alumni, awards, size (per capita) Scores. and equal at SCI.UT Austin better only at HiCi and N&S. Conclusion.Paris6 matches UT Austin at academic performances. Size not an issue here. Strong English language bias. © AFII 2005 2, avenue Vélasquez 75008 Paris
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Remarks on communication issues
ARWU is meant to measure scientific competences, but it is generally perceived as a global ranking, including teaching performances and efficiency. Academic indicators are included because they are related to the “reputation “. It implies thatARWU reinforces initial reputationsa ranking should rather help detect good ; practices. Therelationships between academic performances, teaching performances and efficiencymeeting the economy needs at should be somewhat elaborated. the top ten, it would be much more appropriate to Beyond communicate only classes of equivalent level universities : UT Austin and Paris6 would play in the same league (World class) beyond the World top twenty, and not ranked 36/46. ARWU already uses such classes beyond 100: classes 101 152, 301400. © AFII 2005 2, avenue Vélasquez 75008 Paris
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Impact on university management
Most indicators are absolute numbers, and soARWU favors big size. Is bigger better than smaller? No universal answer.
Paris (as other French cities) boasts many specialized universities, schools and organizations. Thisdispersion may send the wrong message through ARWU. Some experiences are made to join forces for better visibility: Paris Tech…
Prof. Liu intends to increase the weight of size (per capita criteria). This willmake ARWU more neutral on the size question. But comparable evaluations of faculty and staff numbers will not be easy to elaborate.
Same difficulties with thespecialization / concentration management alternativesand corresponding rankings.
© AFII 2005 2, avenue Vélasquez 75008 Paris
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Impact on student international mobility
ARWU should be a helpfultool for mobility(both ways).Is it? Probably a significant impact: 2000 visitors on the Web a day (Chinese? From developed countries?) Probably less impact on the top excellent studentswho receive direct offers and information from universities and schools. Impact onprofessors / researchersnational and international mobility ? (which would boost future impact on student mobility).
© AFII 2005 2, avenue Vélasquez 75008 Paris
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Academic ranking and countries' attractiveness
Top 500 Universities list gives a ranking of countries for research : US(1st), UK, Japan, Germany, Canada,France(6th), Sweden, … China(19).How it compares with rankings in the “France attractiveness scoreboard”? Proportion of international students enrolled in tertiary education: Australia, Belgium, UK, Germany,France, USA, Netherlands, Spain, Japan… R&D expenditure/GDP (average 20012003): Japan, USA, Germany,Franceand Belgium (ex.), Netherlands, UK…
ARWU and the Attractiveness Scoreboardagree on the global picture.But France’s 6th global position isa more solid assertionthan separate universities rankings,with a 46th ranking for Paris6, 101152d ranking for College de France. © AFII 2005 2, avenue Vélasquez 75008 Paris
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Edouard Mathieu Head of the Benchmarking Center Invest in France Agency