IREG 2022 Warsaw Conference

Academic Rankings at the Crossroads

The IREG 2022 Conference in Warsaw will have a special, jubilee character. A group of international ranking experts (IREG) met for the first time in Warsaw twenty years ago under the auspices of UNESCO CEPES and Kozminski University. Already then, national university rankings played an important role in several countries (Best Colleges by US News, L’Etudiant ranking in France, CHE ranking in Germany, Perspektywy ranking in Poland or McLean’s ranking in Canada). It is important to stress that the IREG meeting in Warsaw preceded the appearance of the Shanghai ranking by a year followed by QS, THE, and other global rankings. This only demonstrates how forth-sighted those experts that met then in Warsaw were.

Global rankings have strengthened as well as proliferated; they became important and influential leaving their mark on higher education. This process, however, have not happened at the expense of national rankings; they not only stood their ground but in general are as important as ever.

Over the time, thanks largely to the appearance of the ever richer and comprehensive data bases academic rankings on all levels have become more sophisticated and influential leaving its mark on higher education. Yet, despite the degree of sophistication, rankings so far failed to measure some essential element of higher education such as teaching.-

The conference in Warsaw will take stock of going on in rankings, will analyze rankings impact on higher education. Over the past 20 years rankings have grown in importance and influence, but they had and still have supporters as well as sceptics, if not adversaries. IREG conferences are open to both.

So much has happened since the last face-to-face IREG conference in Bologna in 2019. The Covid pandemic closed the world for two years, and now, we face the war in Ukraine. These events will have a lasting effect on higher education all over. The phenomenon of internationalization will never be what it used to. Mobility of students may decline or change directions; research cooperation can face new political barriers. All this will impact rankings, too.

Academic rankings are at the crossroads; which way will they go, develop?. The conference will try to answer at least some of the questions.

  • How much rankings are helping, and how much they harm higher education?
  • What are their strong and weak side as a tool in assessment of higher education?
  • How to keep healthy balance between global, regional and national rankings, insuring that each maintains its independence?
  • Should the present structure be maintained, where institutions provide data for free to private database owners who, in turn, sell these data back to them?
  • Isn’t it time for international organizations such as UNESCO, OECD or the European Commission to create a non-commercial database on higher education?

The IREG conferences have traditionally become a unique and neutral international platform, where university rankings are discussed in the presence of those who do the rankings, and those who are ranked: authors of the main global rankings, university managers, and experts on higher education.

“There is at least one organization that serves as a base for communication among those concerned with rankings, the International Ranking Expert Group (IREG) Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence, which attracts hundreds to its conferences”. Philip G. Altbach in Research Handbook on University Rankings.


IREG 2022 Conference
Academic Rankings at the Crossroads
Warsaw, Poland 23-24 June 2022

Draft program (as of 10 May)


June 22 (Wednesday)



Venue: Novotel Warsaw Centrum, 94/98 Marszalkowska Str.


Whole day – Arrival of participants


Perspektywy University Ranking (Poland) 2022 announced




15:00-16:00 THE World University Rankings


  • Phill Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer, Times Higher Education (United Kingdom)


16:00-17:00 Webometrics Ranking


  • Isidro Aguillo, Editor of Webometrics, Head of Cybermetric Lab, Scimago Group, (Spain)


17:00-18:00 QS World University Rankings


  • Ben Sowter, Senior Vice President, QS Quacquarelli Symonds (United Kingdom)


17:00-18:30 IREG Executive Committee (closed meeting)


Venue: Novotel Warszawa Centrum, Irys Hall


June 23 (Thursday)



Venue: University of Warsaw (Old Library), 24 Krakowskie Przedmiescie Str.


8:15-9:00 Conference registration, morning caffe




  • Luiz C. Costa, President of IREG Observatory (Brazil)
  • Alojzy Nowak, Rector, University of Warsaw (Poland)
  • Representative of the Ministry of Education and Science (Poland)




Prof. Michael Murphy, President, European University Association (EUA)

9:45-11:00 FIRST SESSION Science and rankings in the age of uncertainty


  • Marek Kwiek, Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland) – keynote: – Global Science, Global Scientists: Big Data and Understanding the Academic Enterprise in the Global Edge
  • Michail Zgurovsky, Rector, Igor Sikorsky University of Technology (Ukraine): – Challenges before higher education in Ukraine
  • Waldemar Siwinski, Vice President of IREG Observatory (Poland): – 20 years of caring for quality of rankings and higher education – Jubilee of the IREG Observatory


11:00-11:30 Coffee break


11:30-13:00 SECOND SESSION Geopolitics of higher education and rankings


Chair: Ellen Hazelkorn, Dublin University of Technology (Ireland)




  • Brendan Cantwell, Professor, Michigan State University (USA)
  • Dominik Antonowicz, Professor, Nicolaus Copernicus University (Poland)


Online presence:


  • Simon Marginson, Director, Centre for Global Higher Education, University of Oxford (UK


13:00-14:00 Lunch


14:00-15:45 – THIRD SESSION Future of higher education and rankings – global and regional perspective


Chair: Alex Usher, Higher Education Strategy Associates (Canada)




  • Isidro Aguillo, Editor of Webometrics, Head of Cybermetric Lab, Scimago Group, (Spain)
  • Ben Sowter, Senior Vice President, QS Quacquarelli Symonds
  • Phill Baty, Chief Knowledge Officer, Times Higher Education (United Kingdom)
  • Gero Federkail, U-Multirank, CHE-Centre for Educational Development (Germany)


Online presence:


  • Robert Morse, Chief Data Strategist for US News & World Report (USA)
  • Ying Cheng, CEO Shanghai Ranking Consultancy (China)


15:45-16:00 Coffee break


16:00-17:00 FOURTH SESSION University of Warsaw – focus on science


Chair: Zygmunt Lalak, Vice-Rector for research, University of Warsaw (Poland)


Speakers: to be announced


19:00-22:30 GALA DINNER


June 24 (Friday)


Venue: University of Warsaw (Old Library)


9:30-11:00 FIFTH SESSION Growing importance of national rankings


Chair: to be announced




  • Richard Holmes, Editor, University Ranking Watch (United Kingdom/Malaysia)
  • Raghu Raman, Amrita University (India): – National rankings in India – their methodologies, usefulness for future students and impact on higher education


11:00-11:30 Coffee break


11:30-13:00 SIXTH SESSION How rankings mirror changes in universities after COVID, and what role will online teaching play


Chair: Luiz Claudio Costa, President, IREG Observatory; Rector, IESB University (Brazil)




  • Hassan Rashid Al-Derham, President of Qatar University (Qatar) (tbc)
  • Marian Prada, Rector, University of Bucharest (Romania) (tbc)
  • Mukhambetkali Burkitbayev, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University (Kazakhstan)




  • Alojzy Nowak, Rector, University of Warsaw
  • Luiz Costa, President of IREG Observatory


13:30-14:30 Farwell lunch


14:30-17:00 Guided tour of Old Warsaw (optional)

14:00 IREG Observatory General Assembly 2022 (for members only)


Luiz Claudio Costa

President, IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence (Brazil)

Rector of IESB University, Former Acting Minister of Education, Federal Government of Brazil, Former President of the National Institute of Educational Studies and Research Anísio Teixeira (INEP), Brazil. Former Vice President of the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) of OECD.

Alojzy Nowak

Rector, University of Warsaw (Poland)

He also worked as an associate professor at Urbana – Champaign (USA), the University of Exeter (UK), in Antwerp and the Free University of Berlin (Germany). He lectured at universities in France, UK, USA, Russia, China and Korea. Nominated by the President of Poland to the National Development Council.

Waldemar Siwinski

Vice President, IREG Observatory, President, Perspektywy (Poland), Vice President of the IREG Observatory

Founder of Perspektywy Education Foundation. Author of over 70 rankings of universities, business schools and secondary schools in Poland. Former President of the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

Michael Murphy

President of the European University Association (EUA). A past President of University College Cork, (Ireland)

Michael Murphy is President of the European University Association. A past President of University College Cork, Ireland (2007-17), he has been active in many academic organisations in Europe and the United States and has served as Vice-Chancellor of the National University of Ireland, Chair of the Health Research Board of Ireland, Chair of the Irish Universities Association and Chair of the Permanent Working Group (PWG) of European Hospital Doctors. Currently, he chairs the Steering Committee of the European Learning and Teaching Forum and the Advisory Board of U-Multirank.


Phil Baty

Chief Knowledge Officer, Times Higher Education (United Kingdom)

Phil Baty is an international authority on university performance and strategy, with more than 25 years of experience in global higher education, including a decade (2009-2019) as editor of the prestigious Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.

Ellen Hazelkorn

Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland)

Professor Ellen Hazelkorn is Joint Managing Partner, BH Associates. She is Professor Emeritus, Technological University Dublin, and Joint Editor, Policy Reviews in Higher Education ( She has authored/co-authored over 200 peer-reviewed articles, policy briefs, books and book chapters, and delivered over 200 keynotes speeches.

Marek Kwiek

Prof. of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland)

Marek Kwiek is Director of the Center for Public Policy Studies and UNESCO Chair in Institutional Research and Higher Education Policy, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan. He is an international higher education policy expert for the European Commission,


Gero Federkeil

Manager in Charge of Rankings, CHE-Centre for Educational Development (Germany)

He is also Managing Director at U-Multirank. Since 2000 he has been working at the CHE Centre for Higher Education Development as a project manager. His main fields of work are ranking, evaluation, quality management and performance indicators.

Robert Morse

Chief Data Strategist for US News & World Report (USA)

Robert Morse is the Director of Data Research for U.S. News & World Report. He is in charge of producing the America’s Best Colleges, the America’s Best Graduate Schools and America’s Best High Schools rankings all of which are published annually by U.S. News & World Report. He takes the lead role in survey design, ranking methodology changes and higher education research.
Member of IREG Observatory Executive Committee.

Hassan Rashid Al-Derham

President of Qatar University

President of Qatar University. He holds a Ph.D. from University of University of South Wales ( UK) and a Master’s Degree from Georgia Tech (USA). he won Best Paper of the Year in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).

Isidro F. Aguillo

Editor of Webometrics, Head of Cybermetric Lab – Scimago Group, IPP-CSIC (Spain)

Isidro F. Aguillo is the founder and editor of the journal “Cybermetrics”, the first electronic-only journal of the CSIC. He has published more than 60 papers in international journals. He was the chair or speaker at more than 400 workshops, seminars and conferences in more than 80 universities and professional societies worldwide.

Alex Usher

President, Higher Education Strategy Associates (Canada)

Alex Usher is an internationally recognized expert on higher education. He has authored numerous ground-breaking studies in higher education. In addition to his years of work on higher education in Canada, his recent works spans Asia, Europe and Africa as well.


Andrzej Kozminski

Co-founder and first Rector of Kozminski University (Poland)

President and founder of Kozminski University. former rector of the university. He is a member of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He was a visiting professor at University of California and other institutions in USA and France.

Michael Zgurovsky

Rector of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute (Ukraine)

Former Minister of Education of Ukraine. Member of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Honored Scientist of Ukraine, laureate of the State Prize of Ukraine in Science and Technology. He is the author and co-author of over 300 scientific papers.

Thomas Parker

Senior Associate, Institute for Higher Education Policy (USA)

Editor of Webometrics, Head of Cybermetric Lab – Scimago Group, IPP-CSIC (Spain)

Isidro F. Aguillo is the founder and editor of the journal “Cybermetrics”, the first electronic-only journal of the CSIC. He has published more than 60 papers in international journals. He was the chair or speaker at more than 400 workshops, seminars and conferences in more than 80 universities and professional societies worldwide.

Richard Holmes

Editor, University Ranking Watch (United Kingdom/Malaysia)

He is an expert on international university rankings and produces the University Ranking Watch blog. He has also written on rankings for a variety of publications including WONK HE, Study International, the Asian Journal of University Education, and Arabia Higher Education.

Simon Marginson

Professor of Higher Education at the University of Oxford, Director of the ESRC/OFSRE Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE), and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Higher Education (UK/Australia).

Dominik Antonowicz

Professor at Nicolas Copernicus University, (Poland)

Ben Sowter

Senior Vice President, QS Quacquarelli Symonds (United Kingdom)

Brendan Cantwell

Associate Professor, University of Arizona/ Michigan State University (USA)

Ying Cheng

Center for World-Class Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University (China)

Gillian Golden

Project Manager- Higher Education Evidence Development at OECD (Ireland)

Burkitbayev Mukhambetkali

Professor, and former first Vice Rector, al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty (Kazakhstan)



Novotel Warszawa Centrum

Marszalkowska 94/98

00-510 Warsaw, Poland

Phone: +48 22 596 00 00






  • 409 PLN + 8% VAT – single superior room
  • 449 PLN + 8% VAT – double superior room

Breakfast included.


Reservation form


The offer is valid till 15 June, 2022

Crowne Plaza® Warsaw – The HUB

Rondo Ignacego Daszynskiego 2

00-843 Warsaw, Poland

Phone: +48 22 388 11 11






319 PLN + 8 % VAT – One Queen Bed Standard Room

349 PLN + 8% VAT – Two Beds Standard Room

Breakfast included.


Password for booking: IREG


The offer is valid till 10 June, 2022


Conference fees

Standard registration: 400,00 EUR
IREG Observatory member: 250,00 EUR
On-line registration: 150,00 EUR


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In the case of cancellation before 31 May 2022, participants will be reimbursed the total amount (less transfer cost). After 1 June 2022 – no refund.



IREG Observatory cannot be held liable for any losses, accidents or damage to persons or objects, regardless of the cause. Participants attend the conference at their own risk and responsibility.