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“We were a little surprised to see how our U-Multirank projectwas described in THE (“‘Serious defects’ apparent in ‘crude’European rankings project”, News, 24 June) – all the more so sincethe criticism was based on a paper written by someone from anorganisation helping with the project, the League of EuropeanResearch Universities (Leru). Leru itself will probably besurprised to be associated with such a critical perspective.
We have just returned from the launch of that Leru paper inBrussels last week. It was highly positive about our completedU-Map project, which maps the diversity of European universities.Leru is also participating in and cooperating with U-Multirank,which aims to recognise this diversity.
We agreed that there are many kinds of universities with differentmissions, structures, profiles and specialisations. The success ofnational – and European – higher education depends on excellenceacross institutions with differing missions, variously focused uponwidening participation, knowledge transfer, regional engagement orpedagogic excellence as well as world-class research.
We hope THE will join us by incorporating this understanding ofdiversity in excellence into its own rankings system, andcontribute to maximising European universities’ contributions tothe emerging knowledge economy.
Frans van Vught and Paul Benneworth, Center for HigherEducation Policy Studies, University of Twente, the Netherlands, Onbehalf of the U-Multirank Consortium.