From the standpoint of academia, international rankings have limited appeal and relevance. Nevertheless, measuring the output of universities is very interesting to policymakers, the general public, students and parents. And, universities also have an interest in having their achievements made public. To satisfy these needs, several national and international projects have been initiated:
Switzerland: CRUS Projects to Measure Research Achievements
The Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS) has promoted a variety of collaborative and innovative projects since 2008. The projects aim to provide Swiss universities with instruments that allow their research achievements to be measured and put in an international context. From 2013 to 2016, the work will be focused on the arts and social sciences.
The European Commission launched the U-Multirank in reaction to the shortcomings in existing global rankings. The aim of the feasibility study from 2009–2011 was to develop a concept that considers national structures and cultures in the area of higher education. In 2012, the European Commission decided to continue the project. The first results are anticipated already in 2013.
International: IREG – International Ranking Expert Group
This group was founded by the European Center for Higher Education (UNESCO-CEPES) and the Institute for Higher Education Policy (USA). Up to this point in time, the group has created two measures for securing the quality of university rankings: