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  • Werkt WO-specialisatie door in kwaliteit?

    - Gespecialiseerde universiteiten zijn niet sterker in hun R&D-prestaties dan algemene universiteiten. De Europese vergelijkingen die U-Multirank maakt van de uitkomsten en profielen van HO-instellingen laten dit nu zien.

    Er is volgens de onderzoekers “no significant difference in the number of top 'A' scores across almost every measure of research performance. Although research may not benefit, however, the analysis does show that specialist universities are more successful when it comes to forging partnerships with industry.” Wel blijkt een duidelijk pluspunt voor hen op twee kenmerken van instellingen: 'co-publications with industry' en 'revenues from Continuing Professional Development'.

    Maar hoe zou dit komen?

    De Europese ‘gewogen, multidimensionele rankings’ die U-Multirank maakt, kijken hierbij naar de breedte en het profiel van instellingen alvorens deze in te delen in typologieën. Tien inhoudelijke domeinen worden daarbij meegewogen. Instellingen “with seven or more are 'comprehensive', with 'broad' universities covering the middle ground. The subject areas in which universities most commonly specialise are business studies, health and engineering,” zeggen de onderzoekers.

    U-Multirank Project Leader Frank Ziegele zegt naar aanleiding hiervan: "We can speculate about the reasons behind these findings. Maybe specialised institutions are able to be more focused in their relationships with relevant firms. Maybe being specialised gives them a reputational advantage or makes them more immediately obvious candidates for partnership. Maybe it is a feature of the subjects in which they typically specialise. Or maybe specialist institutions are genuinely better at understanding the needs of industry in applying research, however to answer this, further research would be needed".

    Frans van Vught merkt in dit verband op: "For students, research partners and other stakeholders in higher education, U-Multirank data can also reveal whether a specialised university actually offers real advantages in terms of their particular and varying needs."