The IREG–International Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence represents a formula for a strategic re-orientation that will become a vector in establishing academic ranking as a credible instrument of qualitative performance for higher education at the institutional and program levels.
The Observatory will review the conduct of “academic ranking” and expressions of “academic excellence ” for the benefit of higher education, its stake-holders and the general public. This objective will be achieved by way of:
– improving the standards, theory and practice in line with recommendations formulated in the Berlin Principles on Ranking of Higher Education Institutions ;
– initiating research and training related to ranking excellence;
– analyzing the impact of ranking on access, recruitment trends and practices;
– analyzing the role of ranking on institutional behavior;
– enhancing public awareness and understanding of academic work.
Answering the explicit request of ranking bodies, the Observatory will review and assess selected rankings, based on methodological criteria and deontological standards of the Berlin Principles on Ranking of Higher Education Institutions. Successful ranking will be entities to declare they are “IREG Recognized”.
Academic ranking and various forms of “expressing and acknowledging academic excellence” sit, foremost, at the intersection of three sets of issues:
– accountability and transparency (what gets measured);
– quality measurement issues (how to measure it); and
– universities, competitiveness and the market (how data gets portrayed and used).
The Observatory includes, foremost, rankers and analysts. In addition, some topics will require participation of policy-makers and other stake-holders. The International Observatory, headquartered in Warsaw, will conduct reviews of various ‘academic rankings’ and measures of ‘academic excellence’ to assess how well they serve higher education stakeholders and the general public. The observatory will use the recommendations formulated in the Berlin Principles on Ranking of Higher Education Institutions.
Members of the body also will meet at the request of various ranking agencies to review their particular methodology criteria and standards. Ranking entities that receive observatory approval will be able to declare themselves ‘IREG Recognized’. The Executive Committee is coposed of: Gero Federkeil (CHE, Germany), Liu Nian Cai (Shanghai Jiao Tong University), Bob Morse (US News&Worldreport), Alex Usher (Education Policy Institute, Toronto, Canada), and chairman Jan Sadlak, director of UNESCO-CEPES in Romania.
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