24 June 2017

The publication of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) rating in the UK has caused surprise and consternation in many universities and higher education providers.

The exercise was carried out by the Higher Education Funding Council for England although it did include some universities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Participation was voluntary although the results will be used to decide whether providers can raise their tuition fees. Results were benchmarked against the characteristics of the student intake.

The framework is an attempt to evaluate universities according to teaching quality rather than research output. There are six criteria, teaching quality, assessment and feedback, academic support, non-continuation, employment or further study, and highly skilled employment or further study. The first three are based on the National Student Survey and the others are derived from data provided by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the Individualised Learner Record, and Destination of Leavers from Higher Education.

Universities and other providers of higher education are categorized into three groups, Gold, meaning “provision is consistently outstanding and of the highest quality found in the UK Higher Education sector”, Silver, indicating “provision is of high quality, and significantly and consistently exceeds the baseline quality threshold expected of UK Higher Education”, and Bronze, awarded where “provision is of satisfactory quality.”

The gold category included some smaller specialised schools and those institutions not known for their research prowess such as Blackpool and the Fylde College, Cleveland College of Art and Design, Norwich University of the Arts and the University of Huddersfield.

Meanwhile three members of the prestigious Russell Group, the University of Southampton, the London School of Economics and the University of Liverpool were awarded bronze medals. This was particularly galling for the latter since the less highly regarded Liverpool Hope University and Liverpool John Moores University won gold and silver respectively.

It is noticeable that reputable London universities did not do as well as they do in global rankings, partly because of poor ratings for student satisfaction. Imperial College was exceptional in winning a gold medal while King’s College, University College and Queen Mary University of London had to settle for silver.


IREG Initiatives

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


News from IREG Members

The 4th International Workshop on UI GreenMetric World University Rankings (IWGM)

UI GreenMetric World University Rankings is pleased to hold The 4th International Workshop on UI GreenMetric (IWGM) in collaboration with Universitas Diponegoro on 8-10 April 2018. The venue for the event will be in Universitas Diponegoro, Tembalang, Semarang, Indonesia.

This year’s International Workshop on UI GreenMetric will address the theme of “Universities, Impacts and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” and provide the forum to share the best practices in creating a sustainable condition in universities. The attendees will be senior officers (rectors, vice-rectors, sustainability directors, deans, directors, respectful professors) from participating universities which have shown outstanding performance in 2018 UI GreenMetric World University Rankings, environment experts, student leaders and other participants The workshop is expected to offer a platform for exchanging information and cooperation in dealing with sustainability issues.

ESCP Honorary doctorate for Prof. Andrzej Kozminski

Prof. Andrzej K. Kozminski, President of Kozminski University has been awarded an honorary doctorate by ESCP Europe, the oldest business school in Europe. The ceremony took place on Dec 8, 2017, at Palais des Congrès in Paris, during the graduation ceremony of the Class 2017 at ESCP Europe in the presence of many distinguished guests, including Tomasz Mlynarski, Polish ambassador to France.

Prof. Kozminski is an economist, sociologist, and the best-known management scholar in Poland. His academic credentials are best described by the following numbers: 4681 quotations, and Hirsch index of 27. In 1993 he established Kozminski University, and served as its rector (1993-2011), and since 2011 he’s been the president of the university.

Polish universities in a global perspective

Research universities, initiatives of excellence, international and national rankings, accreditations, innovativeness of higher education were the topics of the second conference “Polish universities in the global perspective - Rankings and strategic management of a university ", held in Warsaw 27-28 November 2017. Over 160 participants rectors, vice rectors and directors of international offices took part in the conference, organized jointly by Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland (CRASP), Polish Accreditation Committee (PKA) and Perspektywy Education Foundation. Jarosław Gowin,Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Science and Higher Education extended his patronage over the conference.

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