SEOUL, South Korea, June 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — How should universities evolve and innovate as the world enters a new phase with the fourth industrial revolution, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic? World’s Universities with Real Impact (WURI) invites educators, researchers, data scientists, and professionals of diverse fields to engage in answering this complex question at a virtual conference to be held on June 11, 3 pm Central European Summer Time (CEST) and 10 pm Korea Standard Time (KST).
WURI is a new university ranking system which was announced to be developed last year at the 2nd Hanseatic League of Universities (HLU) Conference held at Incheon National University, South Korea, to overcome the limitations of existing methods of evaluating and ranking universities. According to WURI, the existing university rankings heavily weigh on research performance, measured by the number of research papers, and traditional methods of knowledge-transfer. Therefore, they do not properly assess agile and innovative programs of universities in the current era of change.
The need for a new approach to evaluate the institutions of higher education has long been voiced by the society. Particularly with the advent of the 4th industrial revolution that shifted our perspectives on human talent and management, educators and institutions have been gearing efforts to change school programs and curricula to meet the demands of the corporate world and society. Minerva Schools is a good example. Currently, without having any classrooms in seven different countries they operate in, Minerva Schools has dorms for the students to dwell in while focusing on education for business ventures and industry competitiveness.
The existing rankings provide important insight into the research efforts of universities; however, they inadequately represent the overall social impact by the universities as effective educational institutions. To meet this need, WURI was developed as an alternative system for extant university rankings, which examines the innovative programs of universities. WURI ranking has three core evaluation categories and a new one which is added each year. For 2020 ranking, the four categories WURI highlights are as follows:
- Industrial applications, rather than the traditional ways of counting research papers and lecture-type teaching.
- Value-creating startups and entrepreneurship, rather than a traditional focus on the number of jobs filled.
- Social responsibility, ethics, and integrity, rather than a focus on knowledge and skills just for material success.
- Student mobility and openness for exchange and collaboration between schools and across national borders, rather than an independent yet closed system.
Based on expert surveys from the university presidents, chancellors, and representatives, the WURI evaluation system adopted the Text Informational Analysis (TIA) for the qualitative aspects of analysis. In addition, the data collected by WURI to generate the rankings will be shared on Kaggle, the global platform for data sharing and prediction model development, in order to open the data on university performance to the public and facilitate participation of data scientists around the world in refining the system.
This is an exciting development that promotes universities to innovate the way they foster human capital for the changing world and utilize their resources most efficiently and meaningfully.
The inaugural virtual conference on June 11 will introduce the new ranking system and provide an outlook on the challenges and opportunities for higher education institutions. This will be a valuable chance to learn about the innovative practices of universities that preceding rankings did not reflect and to participate in discussion with experts and professionals around the world on universities’ role in the future.
The event is organized by four global institutions:
- Hanseatic League of Universities (HLU)
- Institute for Policy and Strategy on National Competitiveness (IPSNC)
- United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
- Taylor Institute (TI) of Franklin University in Switzerland (FUS)
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