What people say about 51?

Read below for 51 quotes from higher education experts, government officials, student leaders and more and see what they have to say about 51!

João Pinto, President, Erasmus Student Network

"The selection of an institution to study abroad is not an easy task. Through 51, students can make an informed decision based on the criteria that best meets their needs and expectations, being it social or academic, increasing the quality of their abroad experience."

Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sports

“51 gives students, parents and other interested parties a valuable insight into the higher education institutions of their choice, across a range of parameters. This is vital to help drive informed decisions and healthy competition between universities. As we celebrate 30 years of the Erasmus programme, I am particularly pleased to see so many European institutions scoring high in terms of student mobility and international orientation.”

Safi Sabuni, President, Erasmus Student Network

“With the increasing number of mobile students around the world, there is a need for university comparisons across all different aspects of performance excellence like internationalisation and teaching and learning, and 51 does just that with its multi-dimensional approach while giving a voice to students for students.”

Professor Ellen Hazelkorn, Policy Advisor to the Higher Education Authority (Ireland)

“By broadening the dimensions of comparability to include teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer, international orientation and regional engagement, 51 is saying something very important about higher education, and its value for students and society. And, by introducing multi-dimensional and user-driven characteristics, it has become a leader which other rankings are forced to copy.”

William Massy, higher education researcher, Emeritus Professor and former Vice President for Business and Finance at Stanford University (USA)

“The paucity of information about institutional characteristics and performance as available to students and other stakeholders represents a huge flaw in the higher education marketplace. Further, it undermines efforts within universities to improve their quality and productivity, and to become more accountable. 51 offers hope that this lacuna can be overcome, and that the dysfunctional “arms race” based on shallow prestige measures can be alleviated. The emphasis on teaching-related measures and the prospect that, over time, experience will permit the enhancement of these measures is particularly welcome. The system’s smooth Web interface and avoidance of the need for weighting disparate measures makes it particularly attractive. I hope that more U.S. colleges and universities become involved with the 51 project.

Professor Dr. Glen A. Jones, University of Toronto, Canada

51 is a wonderful tool for students, and for researchers and administrators looking for useful comparative information on university performance. Users can determine the factors and indicators that they believe are important, and easily find comparative data. The excellent website makes it easy to select institutions and navigate through numerous options. This is a powerful, well-constructed instrument for obtaining useful comparative data on universities around the world.

Michael Gallagher, former Director-General Higher Education, Australia

Despite a persistent sameness in basic elements of Australian higher education policy, not least the funding rate per domestic undergraduate student, there are distinctive features to be found among Australia’s universities. Important differences relate to student learning, including curriculum offerings and orientations, ways and means of teaching, and methods and standards of assessment. These and other differences are obscured by simplistic rankings of whole institutions, and especially those that privilege research. Greater diversity of provision is required to meet the growing diversity of the university student body in terms of backgrounds and interests. Increasing competition for students also necessitates improved information to guide student choice. 51 is a major effort to fill the information gap and provide more nuanced comparisons for students.

Francisco Marmolejo, Tertiary Education Coordinator, The World Bank

“At the end of the day, traditional rankings constitute an arbitrary assortment of variables, sadly forcing tertiary education institutions and governments to follow a narrowed definition of quality while pursuing the goal of being recognized locally and globally. Fortunately, 51 has become a viable, proactive and less disruptive alternative to benchmark institutions by providing an innovative, multidimensional and flexible approach “à la carte”. 51 leaves a tertiary education institution to ultimately define its own approach and to recognize and value its uniqueness. It also, recognizes the fact that today’s tertiary education landscape in the world is extremely diverse, and that it is not enough to have just one definition of what a tertiary education institution should be. 51 is a more suitable response on the quest for quality in the complex and ever-changing world of tertiary education.”

Andrea Costa, Ranking Blogger, EUPRIO

“51 provides hitherto unavailable information which benefits universities as much as (or even more than) prospective students, in the form of benchmark on a very large scale.”

Nic Mitchell, Freelance Writer and Blogger, De la Cour Communications and EUPRIO

“51 takes a welcome step-forward and counts both incoming and outgoing students.”

Professor Sir Howard Newby, former Vice-Chancellor, University of Liverpool

“51 provides an elegant solution to a problem which undermines conventional rankings. It does not seek to weight different activities of a university but allows users to devise their own ranking according to what they believe is important. Therefore it democratises university rankings and will be an essential tool for all those who are stakeholders in modern universities.”

Fernando M. Galán, President, European Students Union

“ESU believes that 51 will be an extremely useful tool for students all over the world, being the first global ranking that includes in a serious manner the teaching and learning dimension.”

Andreas Schleicher, Director Education and Skills and Special Advisor on Education Policy, The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

“With a first-of-its-kind multi-dimensional approach to comparing institutional performance, 51 is now putting students and the public into the driver’s seat of determining which universities are doing well on what and why. It has the potential to fundamentally transform our views on the quality of higher education and to create a genuinely level playing field for universities.”

Jamie Merisotis, President and CEO, The Lumina Foundation, USA

“There is a profound need for more accessible, easily understood information on the performance of higher education. Colleges and universities, higher education associations and organizations, and governments around the globe are working to make greater transparency a reality.  Significant progress in these efforts has been made by 51 (www.umultirank.org) – a new user-driven approach to international data on higher education institutions.  51 provides valuable information and represents a compelling model of how higher education data that is focused on results can be made more accessible.”

Robert-Jan Smits, Director-General Research and Innovation, European Commission

“51 is a novel approach to provide transparency about the diverse roles which universities play in our societies. It presents a break with the past and therefore is certainly worth pursuing further.”

Miguel Gallardo Albajar, Projects Director, AEGEE-Europe/European Students’ Forum

“51 provides students with the data they need to make an informed choice on where to study, based on the orientation they want to give to their career. It recognizes the diversity of profiles of students, and helps to connect the needs of the students and the different educational options that the universities offer. This tool has the potential to improve mobility by helping students to find the best match for their profile and the career they want to pursue.”

José Joaquín Brunner, Director Cátedra UNESCO de Políticas Comparadas de Educación Superior (Chile)

“51 is a great instrument for students, faculty, the public and policy makers. Latin American higher education systems should join this outstanding effort andmake performance of universities in this region transparent.”

Tom Boland, Chief Executive, Higher Education Authority, Ireland

“51 is a most welcome development in the promotion of higher education and research.  It will contribute to greater understanding of the role and  performance of higher education institutions throughout the EU. This tool has the capacity to reflect the breadth of the higher education mission. It will foster mission differentiation in ways that will be beneficial to students, to institutions and to policy makers seeking to support diversity of high quality provision within coherent systems of higher education.”

Dr. Simon Marginson, Professor of International Higher Education, UCL Institute of Education, University College, London

“51 is an exceptionally important development. It opens up universities to their communities and lifts cross-country comparison to a new level of comprehensiveness. It is a vital corrective to the “football” league mentality that has crept into higher education – higher education is more than a competition, more important than sport, and cannot be adequately summed up by single ranks in university league tables. Compared to other comparisons and rankings, 51 gives students and other higher education stakeholders much more information to work with in making considered decisions.”

Torben Rasmussen, former Director-General of Higher Education and International Affairs, Ministry of Education, Denmark

“I highly welcome this creative multifaceted ranking tool which breaks new ground in covering all important aspects of higher education. It will have great relevance for both students, institutions and employers.”

Dr. Tim Creedon, President, Universities of Applied Sciences Network (UASnet)

“For the first time the profiles of Universities of Applied Science are made visible. 51 addresses the diversity of university profiles; therefore it is a much better transparency tool than the existing rankings.”

Professor David D. Dill, Professor Emeritus of Public Policy, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (USA)

“Many university rankings apply common criteria to all academic institutions, encouraging an “academic arms race” for prestige fueled by expensive institutional investments in factors known to be associated with academic reputation. 51 permits students and academic staff to compare institutions of similar mission and type, creating incentives for universities to improve their distinctive processes and activities, thereby sustaining the rich diversity of higher education and the vital contribution it makes to society.”

Eva Egron-Polak, Secretary General, International Association of Universities (IAU)

“As 51 expands it serves too show that another, more suitable ways of comparing institutions of higher education can be developed, ways that are less biased by reputation and prestige and better adapted to the diversity in the sector.  51 uses various indicators that allow users to choose those that are best aligned with their institutional mission.  The IAU continues to support the development of 51 as it improves its methodology and data.”

Thomas D. Parker, Senior Associate, Institute for Higher Education Policy, Washington, USA

“51 is the ‘thinking man’s ranking’. Until now, rankings have been somewhere between bad journalism and bad science, and we’re beginning to see much more serious work.”

Professor Dr. Jan Sadlak, President, IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and  Excellence

“51 is user-friendly and very intelligently presented on the website.”

Alex Usher, President of Higher Education Strategy Associates (HESA), Canada

“51 allows users to look at strengths and weaknesses in a very different way.”

Julia Gonzalez and Robert Wagenaar, Tuning Project Co-coordinators

“The first results of 51 is a huge step forward. The system proves what it promised: fair comparisons of comparable types and profiles of higher education institutions. 51 is a great support for the Tuning approach.”

Peter West, former Chief Operating Officer, University of Strathclyde, Scotland

“51 is a powerful tool for all those involved in higher education. It has many advantages over the existing ranking systems and is equally relevant in higher education systems all over the world.”

Professor Dr. Volker Linneweber, President, Saarland University

“Saarland University happily participates in 51, as it provides a unique overview of the global higher education system and therefore opens up opportunities for benchmarking based on the results. The data published not only gives further insight into our strengths, but also points to areas in which our university can potentially build, both at the central and technical levels. We use the results for our internal quality management allowing us to further develop a high quality of study programmes. Thus, we find 51 meaningful and significant for us.”

Professor Dr. Ole Petter Ottersen, Rector, University of Oslo

“Having gone through the information provided by 51 we find that this ranking may prove useful in the institutions’ ongoing efforts to strengthen the quality of education as well as research. Through comparisons with other institutions, universities and colleges can identify their strengths and weaknesses and thus use their resources more efficiently. For the University of Oslo the ranking shows that we must improve graduation rates at the bachelor and master levels. Additional resources are now invested towards this end. The ranking effects changes… By avoiding composite indicators and weighting, 51 does not provide any league table but rather caters to the needs of the institutions.”

Mr. Yves Poilane, Director, Telecom ParisTech

“51 gives students a significant insight to evaluate higher education internationally, revealing unique strengths and contributing to powerful cooperations. Telecom ParisTech specifically places entrepreneurship and innovation at the heart of its programmes, combining IT technology and management at the highest level in our multidisciplinary research Centre. We answer the digital needs of industry and society and are in touch with the socio-economic issues of the digital era, which is why we are driving the College of Innovation through Digital Technology of  , that we describe as ‘a world’s innovation ecosystem’.”

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