Closing remarks by IREG President Luiz Claudio Costa at IREG 2019 Conference in Bologna

Dear Friends,

The IREG 2019 Conference, Rankings: a challenge to Higher Education? will soon conclude. It was a great honor to spend the past three days with friends from different countries, universities and organizations. With your participation the Conference successfully finished all its sessions. On behalf of IREG, I would like to extend our highest respect and most sincere gratitude to the joint efforts of all participants, panelists, rectors, rankers. Please receive our congratulations to the success of this high–level Conference.

As the Conference ends, I believe we all have the same feeling that rectors, academics, rankers, governments and society, from different countries are persistently working to improve the quality of higher education. At the end of the day, we are not here because we live rankings, neither we are here because we hate rankings. We are here because we all believe that a quality education system is a key to sustainable economic and social development.

During the last three days we have shared experiences about what is excellence in higher education, and how to measure and reach it.

Build a quality higher education system is a permanent job. Therefore, I firmly believe that the close of this Conference is not an end, but a new starting point. In this Conference we were able to see where we are and challenges we are going to face in the future. Therefore, I hope, we will be able to strengthen cooperation and make joint efforts in pushing forward the quality of higher education.

As we have said, higher education is determinant for the sustainable development of society, and I am sure that during the next ten years the pressure on universities and governments towards a quality higher education will continue to increase. There also will be a massive increase in the number of students looking for a place in higher education.

It means that the issues we have addressed at this Conference will be critical in enabling us to deal with the pressure.

If you allow me, I would like to highlight some points that are going to be crucial for the dialogue involving rankings, universities, governments and society:

  1. Data governance and data ownership;
  2. Use of technology, especially artificial intelligence;
  3. Refining rankings indicators for teaching quality, third mission activities and impacts;
  4. The growth of on line and blended learning;
  5. Semantics and definitions.

So my invitation to you today as IREG Observatory President is: let’s look forward and build a platform of cooperation and discussion to reach the excellence in the dialogue between rankings, universities and society. I hope see you all at the next IREG Conference.

Thank you.

Luis Claudio Costa


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.


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.


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.


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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