Heads of University Management & Administration Network Europe

HUMANE Annual Conference Groningen (NL), June 17-18, 2016

Global University Rankings and Institutional Strategic Positioning

Virtually no executive team in a contemporary multi-faculty university can ignore the publication of national and global rankings.  

One way or another, these ranking publications affect student demand and recruitment, the perceptions of staff candidates during the recruitment process, institution-to-institution networks and alliances, and universities' general reputation.  

At best, a good performance in rankings can contribute to an ambitious institutional zeitgeist, or at the very least have a positive impact on staff, student and alumni morale.  

But crafting an institutional strategy with an over-focus on improving performance in rankings is fraught with dangers.  Staff often find it de-motivating and shallow; the statistical complexity and capriciousness of rankings often make them difficult to predict; and gaming the system to achieve rankings success may even divert leadership energy and resources from real strategy.   And yet......nearly all universities use rankings to varying degrees in their global positioning.  

Our seminar assembles an experienced array of speakers to help us grapple with these strategic tensions.   

Topics and questions to be traversed include:

  • what actions are needed to embrace rankings within universities management and leadership systems in a helpful and proportionate way?
  • how should institutions' stakeholders expectations be managed with regard to rankings?  
  • what are some examples of good practice where institutions integrate their rankings tactics into their wider and real academic strategy?
  • and what is the role of leadership in successful strategic positioning in a world where rankings loom large?

These and other topics were debated at the Annual Conference.  


LERU's View on Rankings

Kurt Deketelaere - Secretary General, LERU (League of European Research Universities) and Professor of Law at KU Leuven (BE)

Russian Academic Excellence Project

Alexander Grudzinskiy &  Alexander Bedny - (Alexander Grudzinskiy:) Director -  Institute of Economics and Entrepreneurship, Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod (Alexander Bedny:) Vice-Rector for International Affairs at the Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod (RU)

University Rankings: An Excellent Source of information for Excellence Universities?

Rainer Heuer - Head of the Strategy Development and Controlling Unit, University of Göttingen (DE)

Rankings & Recruitment - the truth behind the myth

Collette Lux & Greta Maiocchi - (Collette Lux:) Director of Marketing, King's College London (UK) (Greta Maiocchi:) Head of Marketing and Recruitment, MIP Politecnico di Milano (IT)

The Student Voice May Have Gone Missing in Ranking – what matters most to students

Nannette Ripmeester - Director Client Relations Europe for the International Graduate Insight Group (i-graduate) and Director & Founder of Expertise in Labour Mobility (ELM) (NL)

Ranking versus Benchmarking

Jules van Rooij - Senior Advisor Research Policy and Institutional Research, Coordinator Research Assessment, University of Groningen (NL)

"Ranking" Studies in Art

Lambert Verveld - President, Amsterdam University of the Arts (NL)

University Rankings - the Oxford perspective

Helen Watson - Director of Planning and Resource Allocation, University of Oxford (UK)

“Made in China”: the impact of global university rankings 

Marijk van der Wende -  Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor of Higher Education, Utrecht University (NL) and Member of the ARWU (Academic Ranking of World Universities) International Advisory Board 

Conference Chair: Stephan van Galen - Secretary-General, University of Groningen (NL)