STAGE 1 : OPINION SURVEY
Prior to launching the global Institutional Profiles project, Thomson Reuters circulated an open survey to opinion leaders and academic stakeholders soliciting feedback on current institutional comparisons. The results have been published in a summary report that reviews opinions on the most relevant indicators of organizational competence and quality, as well as which indicators respondents consider important and what they think is wrong with previous methods.
The report, New Outlooks on Institutional Profiles, includes data from 350 respondents—larger and more diverse than any previous survey. The report is available for download along with an interactive map that features open-end responses from around the world. Some respondents drew explicit attention to regional concerns, while others echoed the general themes detailed in the summary report.
Key findings of the report include:
- Respondents generally felt that the current analytic comparison systems had recognizable utility. About 40 percent globally said they were ‘extremely/very useful’ and a further 45 percent said they were ‘somewhat useful’.
- The data indicators and methodology currently utilized were perceived unfavorably by many and there was widespread concern about data quality in North America and Europe.
- Current analyses tend to favor English speaking nations. While English remains the international language for academic discourse, its pervasiveness may obscure the changing geography of academic activity.
- 74 percent of respondents believe that institutions manipulate their data to move up in rankings.
The opinion survey will help inform the methodology for our data gathering and analysis. We are committed to bringing greater depth and transparency to institutional profiling, and respondent feedback is critical to this work. We thank everyone who completed the opinion survey.
Times Higher Education Discussion Forum
Times Higher Education hosts community forums on current ranking systems: What do you think makes up a modern, 21st century world-class university? How would you measure it?