Athens, September 7, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
The thirteenth edition of the international university ranking list of QS, drawn up by the global think tank of Higher Education QS Quacquarelli Symonds, confirms that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the best international university for the 5th consecutive year. This year 6 Greek universities are included at the Table, however, 5 of them fell compared with their previous ranking.
The National Technical University remains the first Greek university located higher up in the ranking, among the 400 best universities worldwide. But it dropped 19 seats and is in 395th place. Moreover, it is not included in the ranking among the top 250 research institutions, as it fell 8 points according to citation index per university sector. More important findings are the following:
- Greece has one representative less to the ranking the top 600 as the University of Crete is no longer in this category
- The classification of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki fell from the category 461-470 to the category 491-500.
- The University of Crete no longer belongs to the top 200 research institutions, as there was a significant decrease in citations per university sector index, a parameter used by QS as an indication of the international impact of research of a university
- What’s more, four Greek universities showed a decrease in citations per university sector index
- However, Greece has this year three representatives in the top 300 research institutions – the University of Athens, the University of Crete and the University of Patras.
According to QS, the fall of the research performance of Greek universities os due to their inability to reach young researchers from abroad. Five of the six Greek universities fell in the ranking of the proportion of international faculty. The University of Crete has had the biggest fall, resulting to zero representation of Greece in the category of the 600 leading institutions. The number of university sectors in Greece has shown a slight increase compared with 2015. However, the number of international faculty members has fallen.
Ben Sauter, head of QS Research, said: “The success rate in Greece in higher education is slightly below the European average, and performance on the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) suggest that success rates before the higher education is also below the average. Therefore, ensuring that talented researchers are motivated to participate in the Greek higher education system is paramount if the Greek educational institutions want to remain competitive in research”.
Sauter adds that the findings of the QS is in line with the global trend. He believes that low levels of the costs incurred in Greece on research and development (1.24% of GDP compared with the EU average of 2.03%) deprive the Greek educational institutions to provide the necessary resources, in order to attract international researchers and conduct important research.
Sauter said: “This year’s rankings table indicates that the investment levels determine who is making progress and who is falling. Institutions in countries that provide high levels targeted research funding that comes either from donations or public subsidies, have risen. On the other hand, Western European states which have made or intent to make cuts, seem to lose ground to its Asian or American counterparts”.