Sunday, October 19, 2014

World Universities Rankings trivialise Research Excellence



Bogus World Universities Rankings promote Mediocrity and Worthless Value as Excellence

True research excellence is the product of passion and genuine scientific investigative efforts directed at purposeful outcomes in the form of “discoveries that will benefit Singaporeans and humankind globally” (Dr Tony Tan, 29 Jul 2006).   The desired goal of NTU research is “the harnessing and capturing of value (Dr Tony Tan, 29 Mar 2007). This is our Definition of “Research Excellence”.

Singapore Universities NUS and NTU were recently ranked among the Top by THE (Times Higher Education) World University Rankings. The London-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranked NTU as the World’s Youngest Best University.

For QS Rankers, Research “Excellence” is measured by a questionable proxy measure called “Citations per faculty (20%)”.

Their “Citations” indicator aims to assess Universities’ Research Output. A ‘citation’ means a piece of research being cited (referred to) within another piece of research. Generally, the more often a piece of research is cited by others, the more influential it is. A rather simple but nonetheless na├»ve and invalid construct of “Research Excellence”, revealing QS’ ignorance and lack of understanding regarding Universities Research Excellence.  

Popular facts mentioned that Albert Einstein only published 3 papers.   Many NTU and NUS professors however, like many of their counterparts elsewhere, actually publish more journal papers than Nobel Prize potentials and winners!  

For QS Rankers, the winning Soccer Team is determined by counting the number of passes and ball possessions instead of the overall goals score impact!  Seriously, how VALID or Significant would this be?

There should be clear, ample proof that “new” knowledge contained and “cited” in these journal and conference papers is in fact of some degree of significance public value.

QS Rankers failed to evaluate the extent to which NTU had attained its Goal directive to harness and capture value (Dr Tony Tan, 29 Mar 2007).

Such glaringly blatant and obvious defects should NOT have escaped the penetrative professional scrutiny of NTU Senior Management and Administrators, many of whom eminent Professors and Researchers themselves, who had pronounced and unashamedly embraced the spurious and bogus QS Rankings to position our University in spite of its lack of validity and reliability of their Criterion measures.

In doing so, irreparable damage was done to the great authentic reputation of Singapore. Singapore universities should no longer participate in any Global Universities Ranking scams, no matter what other “famous” Universities had been included.  All Marketing collaterals making references to the bogus University Rankings should also be cleansed of the lie and return our Institution to Authentic levels of transparency and integrity. 

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