We Never Knew it was That Formulaic

Every university in the world, it seems, wants to move up a little in the rankings, whatever rankings they use. Now apparently there’s a computer program to make it a little easier. Phil Baty reports in the Times Higher Education that:

Academics in Taiwan have developed a tool that predicts the outcome of different management decisions on future ranking position.

In a research project for the Higher Education Evaluation and Accreditation Council for Taiwan (HEEACT), Han-Lin Li, a professor at the National Chiao Tung University, has developed what he describes as “a rank simulation system for world universities.”

Eventually the computer program might be available commercially. The idea is to help universities to make strategic decisions with actual predications attached. “If we raise tuition three percent next year, how will we rank in six years?” At this point, who knows?

“We need a system to help us know what kind of strategy we can use to get on the [rankings] list,” said Li. Well now they’ve got one.

At this point the statistical model can only help universities determine rankings on Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities and HEEACT’s Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities. Times Higher Education itself performs international university rankings. The Times system is too recently developed for Li’s model to incorporate it, however.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer