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University of Basel

Ambiguous rankings

Rankings are useful: They organize universities around the world into easy-to-understand ranking lists, help students choose where to study, and are used by the universities themselves as a practical marketing tool (provided they score well).

But rankings also have their weaknesses: They reflect only one part of a complex reality, favor Anglo-Saxon institutions that focus on the natural sciences, and do not adequately reflect teaching experience.

This year’s rankings were just as ambiguous for the University of Basel: The university lost ground in two of the three main rankings, but managed to return to the Top 100 in the Times Higher Education ranking – primarily on the basis of its outstanding research achievements. By contrast, its reputation scores, which are based on evaluations by selected academics, were unsatisfactory – indicating a need for better international visibility.

More articles in the current issue of UNI NOVA.

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