10 - 12 October 2010 Maribor, Slovenia

Mapping of Academic Excellence in the Context of Quality Assurance organized by University of Maribor in collaboration with IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence CHE-Centre for Higher Education Development Thomson Reuters. Conference site: http://www.academicexcellence.uni-mb.si

In the higher education and academic world, seeking excellence is a source of individual and collective motivation, fascination, progression and standing.

The expressions of academic excellence come in variety of forms and degree of prestige. The procedures for awarding individual and/or collective prizes and other forms of recognition can be complex and laborious, and often going beyond traditional measures of research quality or institutional performance such as, for example peer-review. While ignoring those which have a political or ideological connotations, academic awards are growingly taken into consideration in individual and institutional performance assessment.

A renewed attention to academic awards has in recent years been associated with use of them in the elaboration of university rankings, in particular to those used for Academic Ranking of World Universities [usually referred to as "the Shanghai ranking"]. It is therefore timely and relevant to look at the international diversity of expression of academic awards in order to get a more informed knowledge and formulate proposal for a more inclusive use of such awards. The "Maribor Event" is organized as the first stage of the project entitled Mapping of Academic Excellence - International Scientific Awards. The project is an initiative of the IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence, involving numerous partners one of them being the University of Maribor.

 

IREG Initiatives

The purpose of "IREG Inventory of International Rankings" is to collect and make available on the IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence website information on the current state and scope of this important group of rankings.

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National and international academic rankings play ever increasing role as a barometer of quality of higher education institutions. The purpose of "IREG Inventory of National Rankings" is to collect and make available on the IREG Observatory website information on the current state and scope of this important group of rankings.

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With the fast development of science and technology, as well as the internationalization of scientific activities, international academic awards have been more and more popular and influential. Numerous international academic awards have been established to provide individuals with incentives and motivation for new academic work and to reward past excellent academic accomplishments.

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The purpose of the IREG Ranking Audit, conducted by independent experts, is to verify and attest that ranking under review is done professionally, with a transparent methodology, observes good practices and responds to a need for relevant information of various stakeholders, in particular students, higher education institutions, employers and policy makers.

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The purpose of the IREG Guidelines for Stakeholders of Academic Rankings is to provide recommendations for appropriate interpretations, uses and applications of rankings by potential interested parties, including students and parents, institutions of higher education, policymakers, quality assurance and funding organizations, employers and the media. Specific recommendations have been formulated for each group of stakeholders.

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