The making of university rankings – Has anything changed?|
Tia Loukkola, EUA
With the academic year now in full swing, and most university rankings published – the latest being the US News and World Report’s 2019 Best Global Universities ranking on 30 October – higher education leaders around the world are looking at where they stand in comparison to their peers. This editorial was first published on University World News on 12 November 2018.
The proposal for the next Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, also known as Horizon Europe, has been published by the European Commission. Universities and research centres across Europe are welcoming with excitement the budget increase dedicated to research and innovation, as compared with the current Horizon 2020 programme. Although this is undoubtedly an important milestone for European Science, a bitter feeling remains. Despite the increase, the proposal is far from the ambitious financial scenario that the European science community was expecting.
As the Rector of the University of Groningen, and an economist, I am often asked why universities receive so much public funding for academic research. What is the use for society? A simple first response is that academic research is one of the best possible investments. The proposal for the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe, demonstrates the relevance of the question.