The emergence of international academic rankings is one of the most interesting phenomena in the field of comparative analysis of higher education. The growing influence of the Shanghai ranking (ARWU) led its many critics to show strong reluctance in using it as a source of analysis and improvement, mainly because it was generally thought that its results were not reproducible. This talk discusses the difficulties encountered when trying to reproduce the results of the Shanghai ranking and the path to overcome them. Once the dynamics of the ranking are understood we are in a position to use ARWU as a simple and effective benchmarking tool to analyze individual institutions as well as higher education systems worldwide. Some useful comparative analysis of university research systems, under the light of the Shanghai ranking results, will be presented. The chances for Universidade de Vigo to enhance its international profile by being ranked in either the ARWU-500 or the ARWU field and subject rankings in engineering will also be discussed.
PhD in Mathemics, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, 1984. Professor at Universidade de Vigo since 1992. President at Universidade de Vigo between 1998 and 2006. He has coauthored some 60 international publications in signal processing. His current research interests are centered around the use of statistical signal processing tools and methods in the comparative analysis of higher education worldwide.