The Working Group of the Conference of Italian University Rectors has published a report on international rankings edited by Mirko Degli Esposti of the University of Bologna and Giulio Vidotto of the University of Padua with contributions and analysis from a variety of researchers and academics.
The group was set up to increase the representation of Italian universities in international rankings, to improve their ranking positions, and to provide information about rankings and their methodologies.
It was decided to focus on four rankings: the THE World University Rankings, the QS World University Rankings, UI GreenMetric, and U-Multirank. The group attended various meetings and conferences and consulted a variety of publications by international commentators such as Ellen Hazelkorn and Richard Holmes.
In early 2019 the group started a fast-track programme to get universities into the QS world rankings. Some universities improved their position in those rankings but Italian institutions were not successful in entering the top 100 in the THE rankings.
U-Multirank had very demanding data requirements. Nonetheless, the Working Group published guidelines that helped a number of universities to improve significantly, coordinated with ranking organisations, and helped to improve the attractiveness of the national university system. A task force at the University of Bologna began collating data for UI GreenMetric and an improvement was noted here also.
The report concludes with suggesting a new project that would include updating the guidelines and monitoring results.