Thursday, April 16, 2020

7 IITs not to participate in THE World University Rankings 2020

The seven older Indian Institutes of Technology, have decided to not participate in the Times Higher Education (THE) - World University Rankings this year (2020). The decision is the outcome of their apprehension about the London-based magazine’s ranking evaluation.

Last year’s rating left many bewildered. While no Indian institute made it to the list of top 200, the relatively young IIT-Ropar, set-up in 2008, sat alongside the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, among the top 301-350 universities of the world. IIT-Indore ranked among top 351-400 universities of the world, while IITs in Bombay, Delhi and Kharagpur were placed lower in the 401-500 bracket. For the fourth consecutive year the University of Oxford has topped the global chart.

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“The leading IITs, that is, IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi, IIT-Guwahati, IIT-Kanpur, IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-Madras and IIT-Roorkee have decided to not participate in any of the Times Higher Education (THE) - World University Rankings this year (2020). These IITs will reconsider their decision next year if Times Higher Education is able to convince them about the parameters and transparency in their ranking process,” said a note issued jointly by India’s most premier tech colleges.

Performance indicators for evaluation and rankings are grouped into five parameters: teaching (the learning environment), research (volume, income and reputation), citations (research influence), international outlook (staff, students and research) and industry income (knowledge transfer). Last year after the rankings were released, directors of several IITs were amazed that the young colleges of Indore and Ropar scored higher than the more established institutes.

Soon after, last year, IIT Delhi director Ramgopal Rao on social media had claimed that THE scores did not represent the true ranking of institutions. “In three of the ranking parameters, such as international students, international faculty and faculty-student ratio, our institutions score close to zero points. We don’t score well on perception based parameters on a global scale.”

This year when the THE wrote to the IITs to send their respective data for 2018 and 2019 for the 2020 rankings, all the seven institutes turned down the request to participate. Interestingly, the IITs are open to being ranked by QS World University Rankings, an annual publication of university rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds.

Source: The Times of India (Online edition), April 16, 2020

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