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IREG 5 Conference: The Academic Rankings from Popularity to Reliability
Author:Wei Zhou Source:nseac.com Pubtime:2010-12-05 22:01 Click:


     Over 160 experts on university rankings and representatives of academic world from 50 countries met in Berlin 6-8 October 2010 at the IREG-5 Conference: The Academic Rankings from Popularity to Reliability. The Conference was organized by the IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence and the Centre for Higher Education Development CHE in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and with support of German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Prof. Junping Qiu, Director of Science Evaluation Research Centre of China, PhD Supervisor, Wuhan University, has attended this conference.
     This conference provided an opportunity for participants to realize the international competition among higher education institutions and the developments of academic ranking; to have first hand access to leading practitioners and world-recognized experts on university ranking, bibliometric and quality assessment of higher education. During the conference, a proposal to transform IREG in an accreditation body was presented. Representation of the German Federal Ministry of Research and Higher Education, Director of CHE, Frank Ziegele and President of IREG Observatory JanSadiak addressed welcome and introduction at the opening session. World’s experts gave research reports during the conference sessions, such as Jamil Salmi, coordinator of World’s Bank’s Tertiary Education Thematic Group, Washington D.C; Yung-chi Hou, Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council of Taiwan; Liu Nian Cai, Dean of the Graduate School of Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China and so on.
     In a relatively brief time “academic rankings” have become a global phenomenon. The proliferation of rankings is one aspect of the growing demand for broadly-understood information about higher education and its institutions. At the same time research findings studying rankings demonstrate that different groups of stake-holders - politicians, employers, academic leaders, students and their families, etc. are in need of quantified evidence about quality, performance and characteristics of the whole institutions or specific study program. Attractiveness or appeal of rankings is in its synthetic interpretation of the complex phenomenon. The growing attention to academic rankings led to a rapid growth in the number and kind of rankings. Like in the previous meetings of IREG also this meeting is going to identify and present new developments in national, regional and international rankings
     It was be the fifth time since 2004 that representatives of the ranking organizations, experts on quality assurance and academic excellence as well as stake-holders and interested parties on academic rankings met to discus various topics concerning a phenomenon which is now an important factor in higher education analyses, policy-making and practice. These conferences have been a great promotion for the improving of ranking system.
     At the IREG meeting held in May 2006, conference has adopted the Berlin Principles on Ranking of Higher Education Institutions. The Berlin Principles has articulated 16 standards and guidelines of good practice. Implementation of this important initiative has been one of the reasons for creation of the IREG Observatory on Academic Rankings and Excellence. Then next IREG implemented the elaboration of fact sheet, criteria and procedures for conducting “ranking audit” in order to obtain a quality label IREG recognized”.

     At the end of October 2007, the 3rd conference was held at Shanghai Jiaotong University. This is the first time holding at Asian country. Over 100 participants attended. The 4th conference was at Kazakhstan, a proposal of universities ranking authenticate regulation plan has been proved. Next conference would be held at Taipei on 2012.

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