Every year in the best ranking Universities of the world, and expectations are created regarding the position that Colombian higher education institutions have reached.
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However, sometimes it is not entirely clear To what extent do these results really reflect the quality of education provided in these centers?
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By the way, Atilio Bustos, Associate Director of SCImago Research Group, one of these companies that ranks universities, spoke about the importance of these lists, how to determine which ones are reliable, and the performance that Colombian institutions have.
How reliable are university rankings?
The ratings are reliable, depending on the person being talked about, as in the case of Shanghai, which does not charge a fee, but rates only 1,000 institutions in the world.
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The other largest companies are Times Higher Education (THE) and QS. They both ship. But what we have to see is whether or not the indicators they measure are objective, and the percentage of the score generated from the opinions of those who answer around the world, generally in terms of reputation and research.
QS and THE give significant value to those surveys that are less objective (50 percent and 33 percent), but this somehow shows what the sector is aware of about organizations. The problem is that often only the universities that have paid in these surveys can be evaluated.
– What’s the use of it?
They work on general benchmarking, and compete to bring in students. But it also generates a perception in society, in decision makers, whether they are public agents allocating resources or private agents evaluating making investments. What rankings do is influence the different markets in which a higher education institution operates.
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– And where is the quality?
To the extent that the results of these lists are independent of the size of the institutions, directed by objective indicators and attention is paid, for example, to scientific production, students and parents will be allowed to make an informed decision about the quality of one program compared to another; It will also highlight the work of other institutions that are making great strides in quality, such as the Technological University of Bolivar or the University of Santander, which are not usually named, but have better results than many of the larger institutions.
– In this order of ideas, how are Colombian universities?
There are universities that have managed their reputation nicely, without that implying high quality, while there are others that are at a very good standard but are little recognized. What we’ve seen is that they, in one way or another, mainly in the private sector – although some public sectors as well – have made significant advances in terms of quality.
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The evidence for this is that the number of institutions and academic programs with high-quality accreditation is increasing, which is a closer indicator. And that’s because those credits, these efforts, and ranking results translate into more investment, which is always necessary. The societal aspect, which has to do with the impact, among other things, on the web, is a point that Colombian universities should improve a lot.
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