Ranking lists important for Swedish universities
Interest in global university rankings has grown rapidly. With the results these days being used by funders, students and prospective colleagues, it is important for institutions to rank highly in the listings – whatever one’s view of their quality. Curie asked a number of Swedish institutions to explain their position on the university ranking phenomenon.
Criticism for popular rankings
In only a short period of time, the lists that rank the world’s higher education institutions have grown in number and become more influential. Rises and falls are newsworthy, and today the rankings influence both universities’ local activity and national research policy. But these attempts to measure the quality of the institutions also come in for harsh criticism.
Self-censorship a threat to democracy
Threats, attacks and an uncomfortable feeling that you’re being watched. All things that media and communications researcher Michael Krona has had to get used to in the past six months as a result of his increased visibility on social media. He is undertaking research into the media propaganda of the Islamic State terrorist organisation.
Increased pressure on university teachers
The demands on university teachers have increased, with additional administration and more students. The trade union, among other actors, is now calling attention to the fact that deficiencies in the system are resulting in deterioration in quality. “It is time for the institutions to speak out,” says Mats Benner, professor of research policy.
We must distinguish fraud from carelessness
There is neither a consistent definition nor a uniform handling of misconduct in research at Swedish higher education institutions today. In many situations it is more a case of carelessness than of deliberate fraud, but the distinction is unclear. There is currently an ongoing inquiry aimed at untangling the terms and proposing concrete changes to the system.
In the future we will publish research openly
The global scientific community shall also become a communication society without paywalls and technical barriers. This is the vision of Brian Hole, researcher and founder of the open access publishing company Ubiquity Press.