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Tonight: Rankings may upset prestige universities

New methods and weighting for the Times Higher Education World University Rankings can subvert some universities' previous high scores. This includes the University of Copenhagen

Big name institutions are likely to take a hit in the new World University Rankings that are to be released Thursday 16 September early morning.

The Times Higher Education ranking has a new methodology where the so-called subjective measures have been reduced, and this could shove some of the most prestigious universities down the list.

The QS ranking, using the old methodology, was released recently and showed the University of Copenhagen among the world’s elite in the 45th position. The QS ranking, and many other rankings of this type have been criticised for circularity, with scholars appraisals of high reputation universities being reinforced by the prestige of previous rankings.

Logic points downwards

However, Times Higher Education, probably one of the most cited indices, has stopped its co-operation with QS, and is instead now working with Thomson Reuters for their new World University Ranking. This has, according to Times Higher Education, meant less weight to scholars’ rating of institutions based on reputation, and more weight to objective measures.

Reputational measures, now account for only 20 per cent of the overall score, they say.

Logic says that as a university blessed with a high reputation already and a good name recognition, Copenhagen will drop in the ranking, unless it is considered to have a research output and influence to match.

Watch this space

University hard-hitters such as Harvard, US; Cambridge, UK; and Yale, US; on the podium last year, may see their halos fading.

Last year University of Copenhagen came in at a solid 51, up from 93 in 2008. Will it gain, or will it fall back? Will there be other dramatic academic falls from grace: And who will be the newcomers?

Click on tomorrow Thursday morning to see how the University of Copenhagen fares on the international scene.

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