The “Flagship”-Institutions of Current Higher Education and Research Policy Under Scrutiny

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 09:15
Oral Presentation
Kalle ARTUKKA, University of Turku, RUSE, Finland
Juha HEDMAN, University of Turku, RUSE, Finland
Osmo KIVINEN, University of Turku, RUSE, Finland
According to current policy, global university rankings are assumed to identify successful HE- and research policy in the style of the more universities a country has at the top, the better is its HE-system. However, the fact is that rankings grant prominence only to a limited number of universities and thus do not tell a great deal about any national HE-system as a whole, not to mention the scientific level of universities in various fields.

The paper asks to what extent the top 200 universities in scientific publishing in four main research fields (biological, physical, social and life sciences) also reach the top 200 positions in global university rankings. Currently there are 53 such universities that are among the 200 most publishing universities in each of the four main fields and reach top 200 in three most distinctive global rankings NTU, URAP and USNWR. Most ‘all-rounders’ 19 (out of 53) reside in EU countries and 18 in the United States. In the rest of the world remains 16 ‘all-rounders’ so that five in both of Canada and Australia and one in each of Brazil, China, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. As opposed to a common assumption that “money matters”, the paper finds that from the best of the best research universities (53 ‘all-rounders’) fewer than every other is listed among the hundred wealthiest in the world.

Undoubtedly any region is proud of its every ‘all-rounder’, and for a good reason, but the few ‘all-rounders’ do not represent accurately the level of research conducted in region’s universities. The paper assesses the extent to which the number of ‘all-rounders’ indicate the level of scientific publishing of universities in four main research fields by regions and territories.