The Week in Reputation

Spot the difference

How do you differentiate your university from all the others in the world when you are all, essentially, offering the same “product” – research and teaching? Websites are now the main way that students and researchers access information about a university so it is becoming increasingly important that universities are able to stand out from the online crowd. This is why our research project for this year is looking at the strength of online brands. Our project, Brand Snapshot: Measuring online brand strength in world-class universities, will...

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Rankings Update

It’s a busy time of year for rankings. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen the publication of the 2018 US News & World Report Best Global Universities; the Times Higher Education has published an Employability Ranking; and the annual conference organised by the Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, who run the Academic Ranking of World Universities. What have we learned?  The USN&WR continues to be dominated at the top level by the ‘superbrands’ – as predicted by the W100 Rankings Influencers research, in...

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Brand police arrest General Marketing

The perils of using vague statistics and generalised claims to promote universities have been exposed by the UK’s advertising watchdog, which has censured six institutions for claims such as ‘top 1% in the world’ and “top 5 in the UK for student satisfaction’. The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld complaints against the Universities of Leicester, East Anglia, Falmouth, Teeside, Strathclyde and West London for statements made on websites and Facebook advertising . The ASA warned universities to “make sure...

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Reputation: Around the world

China has been much in focus over recent weeks with the 5 yearly National Congress of the Communist Party taking place and the bolstering of the power of President Xi Jinping. The congress followed the recent announcement from the Chinese Ministry of Education of the Double World-Class Project which sets out ambitions for increasing the influence of Chinese universities globally over the next 35 years. It aims for China to have 42 ‘world-class’ universities by 2050. China Daily reports that “the institutions were selected...

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The dangers of ‘predatory’ conferences

A key recommendation in the Rankings Influencers research is to ensure that academics are attending high quality international conferences, a key factor in building reputation. It was therefore alarming to learn about the growing spread of ‘predatory’ conferences, so-called ‘multi-disciplinary symposia’ organised by commercial events organisations. Times Higher Education quoted James McCrostie, associate professor at Daito Bunka University in Japan, who…

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