Universities should be ranked on societal impact – Report

A report says universities should justify their worth through a ranking system that assesses their impact on society to counteract the “corrosive narrative” that institutions are “disconnected ivory towers”, writes Eleanor Busby for PA Media.

A new assessment system that recognises societal benefits may reassure students they are getting value for money and incentivise institutions to do more for communities, university representatives suggest.

Universities should be graded in global league tables on the proportion of their negotiable budget spent on activities for social benefit, as well as on their carbon footprint, according to a report from King’s College London, the University of Chicago and the University of Melbourne. Institutions’ engagement should also be assessed by their support for under-represented groups, as measured by the proportion of pre-university students who take part in an “access” programme. The authors propose a new framework to measure and rank this societal impact, or what they term “engagement”, which they argue could be incorporated into global university league tables.
Full report on the Belfast Telegraph site