Assessing your institution's position within the HE sector: Signposts

Overview of two main tools for rating your HEI within the sector.


Two European projects have been examining approaches to the categorisation and rating of HEIs. For an individual HEI, they provide a way to take a fresh look at the HE sector and their position within it.

They aim to satisfy the needs of a range of stakeholders: policy-makers seeking to evaluate the need for new instruments to shape the provision of higher education; students seeking to identify institutions most likely to satisfy their interests and objectives; and all who interact with an institution.

Describing an institution – U-Map

U-Map uses a multi-dimensional graphic to describe institutions. An iterative consultative process was used to establish the set of 23 parameters in 6 categories to be represented. The graphic allows simple, visual recognition of differences between universities, without the need for explicit categorisation, and without judgement of the value of the parameters.

Ranking the institution, or subject – U-Multirank

U-Multirank is a ranking tool. It takes U-Map as a starting point, on the basis that it makes sense to compare the performance of institutions that are similar in kind. The project is currently finalising and testing the set of performance measures. However, unlike the existing world rankings, it is not designed for creating a single ranking. Instead, it shows performance on parameters on five dimensions, and allows the user to decide the level of importance those parameters have for their needs. Furthermore, it can be used at the institutional or subject (field) level.

Follow these links for further information:

Topics: Establishing your distinctiveness.