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The Evolution of Higher Education: from Regional to Global Scale
18-06-2012
Jan Sadlak, President of the IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence, Chairman of the International Supervisory Board of the National Academic Ranking TOP-200 Ukraine

The current universities ranking systems differ in their methodology, level of data aggregation (global, national, specialized, regional) and the target audience. Today 10 Global rankings and more than 50 national ones are presented in the world, and its only mi-way, because they do not tend to reduce their demand and popularity. The need for simple, understandable, easily interpretable information about the activities of educational institutions is quite obvious. Broad representation of rankings requires a more detailed analysis of the most popular of them to identify best practices and methodologies, policy-making and accountability mechanism in the universities ranking.

More than 6 years I have directly connected with the development, establishment and development of the TOP 200 Ukraine academic ranking. This is a large scale project that integrates international and national approaches to the estimation of the universities in Ukraine. In order to reflect better trends in higher education and for the convenience of comparison with global rankings the project took place in stages, involving making appropriate adjustment to the methodology. Today TOP 200 academic ranking on the one hand is focused on the Ukrainian community and on the other- it is recognizable outside the country.

Today urgent problem in universities rankings is the integration of national rankings into global. That issue was the subject for numerous forums, conferences and meetings of the International Group for universities rankings (IREG) in 2010-2011. During those discussions important question was arising: why a university that is proud of its achievements both at home and abroad does not participate in global rankings? In most cases the answer was as follows: because of using disparate criteria for comparison and the absence of full information for the analysis. One way to solve that problem is to use comparable data when developing global and national rankings. In that context great responsibility rests with the creators of national rankings. I would like to stress that the project team TOP 200 Ukraine is actively working in that direction. Selection of comparable baseline data for comparison, their aggregation according to the agreed procedure, the account of the universities progress as a whole reflect the ideology of global rankings and at the same time enable us to obtain an adequate idea of the efficiency and effectiveness of higher education in Ukraine and its universities.

Such cross-national measurements will facilitate the identification of strong and weak issues in the field of higher education in different countries simultaneously opening the problematic aspects of education of a country. However, for several reasons not all welcome the growing need for access to information about institutions of higher education and their performance. And I am glad that many universities in Ukraine, under the principle of transparency are increasingly open information about their activities, especially in such an important resource as the Ranking Web of World Universities (or Webometrics Ranking) presenting their work.

Of course, university rankings are an important tool for shaping their brand. The success of rankings will depend on the credibility of the public, employers, academics and politicians. Accordingly, the process of ranking should be based on mutual responsibility of universities, ranking creators and politicians in the field of education. Last six years of my work with the system of higher education in Ukraine showed undeniable progress in that direction.


On the Way to European Integration



Olesya Lynovytska
Head of the Ukraine TOP-200 best national Universities ranking project


During the last 6 years, an international group of experts in cooperation with the European Centre for Higher Education (UNESCO-CEPES) and the Centre Euroosvita are presenting academic ranking of universities TOP 200 Ukraine.

The aim of the project is to provide accurate, objective, comparable information about the quality of educational services offered by institutions of higher educations in Ukraine an national level. The system is close to the principles of international counterparts (in particular, to so-called Shanghai ranking, being developed annually by Jiatong University or national ranking of American Universities, published by US News & World Report) and allows on one hand to compare different universities profiles, on the other- to make a comparison with universities in other countries. The external supervision of the project TOP 200 Ukraine was carried out be experts of the Supervisory Board of the international expert group on academic rankings of universities (IREG Observatory)

Ranking methodology corresponds to the principles of international rankings of universities and involves a comparative analysis of the achievements of institutions of different types based on the use of series of universal criteria (details in Zerkalo Nedeli, 22, 2010. Each year the results of the Project TOP 200 are presented at international forums and conferences of IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence. It can be said that the project reflects to some extent the transformation of higher education and allows to form a fairly complete picture of the competitiveness of the university, its educational and research potential.

Academic Ranking TOP 200 Ukraine is based on aggregate data on a university activity according to four integrated criteria: expert assessment of a university activities by the representatives of labor market and academic reputation, quality of research and teaching capacity, quality of education, international recognition and presence in the global information space (including on the basis of Webometrics ranking).

According to six-year research the flagships of higher education in Ukraine are the National Technical University of Ukraine Kyiv Polytechnic Institute and Kyiv National University named after Shevchenko, demonstrating high performance in all areas of their activities.

On the third consecutive year NTU Kyiv Polytechnic Institute leads the final ranking results table. It got the highest marks on quality of specials training given by representatives of domestic and foreign labor market (according to international experts only in Microsoft Corporation now are working more than 500 graduates of KPI). KPI has the highest international recognition (along with Donetsk National University it joined the 4% of the worlds best universities rated QS World University Ranking 2011/12). It leads in the number of double degree programs. Among the universities of Ukraine KPI has the most extensive presence in the global information space (it joined 5% of the best universities in the world rated by Webometrics). Second place went to Kyiv State University named after Shevchenko. It is the undisputed leader on the quality of faculty, on the number of publications and on citations in the scientometric database index Scopus.

The top five positions permanently occupied by Kharkiv National University named after Karazin (third place), National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy(fourth place), National Medical University named after Bogomolets (fifh place).

The best universities are: among classical universities- National University of Kyiv named after Shevchenko, technical-NTU Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, ecomomic- Kyiv National Economic University named after Getman, healh- National Medical University named after Bogomolets, education- National Pedagogical University named after Dragomanov, legal- National University of Law Academy of Ukraine named after Mudryj, building- Kyiv National University of Engineering and Architecture, transport- National Aviation University, private universities- University of Economics and Law Krok.

The analysis of the results of the ranking assessment over last six years has shown the main areas in which leaders of the Ukrainian higher education are improving their positions on the educational services market and accordingly in the rankings. For the first turn among those are strengthening of the research capacity of the university, the internationalization of education and active engagement with the international scientific community. For example, in 2011 more than 50 projects of the 7th EU Framework Research Programme started in the Ukrainian universities; leaders in that sector are KNU named after Shevchenko, NTUU KPI, National Aviation University named after Zhukovski Kharkiv Aviation Institute, National University Lviv Politechnic, National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine, Odessa National University named after Mechnikov, Kharkiv National University named after Karazin/

During the project TOP 200 Ukraine the number of Ukrainian universities which became members of European and other international associations has been increased; more than 10 universities have signed the Great Charter of Universities last year. The leading universities of Ukraine have built strong relationships with leading foreign universities, joint educational programs are being actively implemented and double degree programs are being expanded. More than hundred educational projects Tempus are being developed at leading universities in the country. 100% of the graduates of Odessa National University named after Mechnikov, NMU named after Bogomolets receive European Diploma Supplement.

Targeted work undertaken on positioning of universities in the world educational space allowed a number of leading Ukrainian universities to significantly improve the position in the world ranking Webometrics (NTU KPI- 957 place, NU Lviv Politechnic- 1248 place, NPU named after Dragomanov- 1747 place, KNU named Shevchenko- 1934 place)

It should be noted the increasing focus of Ukrainian universities on developing of active image and information policy. On the Web resources of many universities is represented complete, current information that reflects the university life, is presented statistical report on basic parameters of the universities. That is the important step to ensure transparency and openness of the universities to public.

In conclusion one should to note that the leading universities of the country increased the requirements of the management culture, to the quality of human resources, began to pay more attention to the scientific, research and innovative activities, became to focus on high academic standards, to show the desire to be at the front of higher education

Complete information abut ranking TOP 200 Ukraine is represented on www.euroosvita.net

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