U-Multirank university ranking confirms need to boost regional impact of European higher education institutions

The third and largest ever edition of the U-Multirank university ranking has been published today, providing a multi-dimensional overview of over 1,300 universities from more than 90 countries. U-Multirank is the first global ranking allowing users – notably students – to easily compare universities’ performance. Universities can be ranked according to research performance, teaching and learning, knowledge transfer, international orientation and regional engagement. The ranking shows that European universities lead the world in regional impact, with institutions such as Polytechnic Institute Coimbra (Portugal) or Hanze UAS (the Netherlands) contributing strongly to the development of their respective regions. But for many universities the regional impact does not go far enough. In fact, impact on regional innovation was identified as a central issue in the Commission’s recent consultation on the modernisation of higher education: only one fifth of the more than 1,400 respondents considered that universities play a strong role in national or regional innovation, while three-quarters strongly supported more EU level cooperation in this field. European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, said: “U-Multirank provides valuable information for applicants while giving us a better picture of how effective universities are as drivers of economic growth and social cohesion. Europe needs high-performing research universities as well as technical and regional institutions that can connect with businesses and act as innovation engines for their regions. The EU needs to do more to support them and I will focus on this in a renewed strategy for the modernisation of higher education later this year.” U-Multirank receives €4 million in funding from the Erasmus+ programme for 2013-2017. The future goal is for an independent non-profit organisation to manage the ranking on an open source basis. More information can be found in the press release from U-Multirank. (