In partnership with iREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence (IREG), the Faculty of Education and Psychology of Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), organized a 3-day virtual conference between May 19 and 21, 2021. The theme of the conference was “University Rankings – Reflections from Social Sciences and Humanities”. In this elite forum, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, which secured the 81st rank in the world and 1st rank in India in the THE Impact Rankings 2021 was represented by Prof. Raghu Raman (Director, Center for Accreditations, Rankings & Eminence at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham). Prof. Raman was part of the panel discussion titled “Fresh Glances to the Rankings” where he compared and contrasted the world university rankings and impact rankings. 

Prof. Raman highlighted the stark contrast in the list of top 100 universities between world university rankings and impact rankings. Out of the top 10 universities in the world university rankings, only one (MIT) was part of the top 100 in the Impact rankings. Data also showed that many universities from developing countries that only featured in the bottom half of the world rankings table had performed much better in the Impact rankings and have managed to break into the top 100. It is noteworthy that many of these institutes have found a place in the top 10 in individual SDG rankings. The presentation also highlighted how the choice of SDG-related activities were different in Asia and Europe. Universities from developing countries predominantly focused on SDGs related to poverty, hunger, and clean water & sanitation. Whereas the universities from developed countries focused largely on SDGs related to economic growth, building sustainable cities and communities, climate action, etc. This trend reinforced the fact that the outreach activities carried out by HEIs in different regions were dictated by needs that are significant in their respective communities/regions. 

The panel also included distinguished speakers from reputed organizations such as Dr. Rui ZHANG – Prof Junping QIU, Hangzhou Dianzi University, China; Anna URBANOVICS, University of Public Service, Hungary; and  Antonio PRADO, National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Brazil. These speakers presented their insights about the other university ranking systems such as ARWU (Academic Ranking of World Universities), QS rankings and U-multirank. 

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