The University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) has placed in the World’s Universities with Real Impact (WURI) Ranking for 2020. In ceremonies held on 11 June 2020 in the Korean capital of Seoul, WURI Project Leader Professor MOON Hwy-Chang announced that ULAB is among the top 50 universities in the world under the “Industrial Applications” category. ULAB, the only Bangladeshi university that placed in the WURI Ranking 2020, ranks 46th in this category. The top five ranking universities under the said category are: (1) Stanford University (USA), (2) Massachusetts Institute of Technology USA); (3) Minerva Schools at Keck Graduate Institute (USA); (4) California Institute of Technology (USA); and (5) Arizona State University (USA).
ULAB’s entry to the WURI Ranking for innovative and creative approaches with regard to industrial applications is the thesis of the Masters in Communication program offered by the Media Studies and Journalism Department. To provide better guidance to the students, the program has also developed two kinds of mentoring systems – joint mentoring and specialized mentoring. It has likewise utilized a reflexive approach in thesis writing and a co-creator philosophy in knowledge creation. Such approaches depart from the traditional way theses are done where student interaction is limited to his/her adviser in their final term; working on theoretical instead of practical topics.
The WURI Ranking is composed of the Global Top 100 and the top 50 in each of the following categories: (1) Industrial Applications; (2) Start-ups and entrepreneurship; (3) Social responsibility, ethics and integrity; and (4) Student mobility and openness for exchange and collaboration. Given ULAB’s entry into the Industrial Applications category, it was eligible for consideration in the WURI Top 100 Universities. The five highest ranked universities in the Top 100 are: (1) Stanford University (USA); (2) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA); (3) Aalto University (Finland); (4) Harvard University (USA); and (5) Minerva Schools at Keck Graduate Institute (USA).
The Hanseatic League of Universities (HLU), Institute for Policy Strategy on National Competitiveness (IPSNC), United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and Taylor Institute of Franklin University Switzerland (FUS) held an inaugural online conference on 11 June 2020 to celebrate the release of the World’s Universities with Real Impact (WURI) Ranking. The conference introduced the WURI ranking system and provided an outlook on the challenges and opportunities for higher education institutions.
HLU Second President and Incheon National University President CHO Dong-Sung delivered the keynote speech. He mentioned that the problems with current ranking systems, which are as follows: academism, uniformity, past-orientation and commercial-orientation. In light of this, the HLU was founded in 2018 to pursue a vision of orientation towards practice in program development, customer in membership, external in service and learning in action. To realize the vision, HLU launched the WURI ranking system. WURI was created to stimulate and evaluate universities’ flexible and innovative efforts to foster the workforce that meets the demand from industry and society. Thereby, WURI considers the overall social impact of universities as effective educational institutions.
WURI Ranking Director MOON Hwy-Chang explained the ranking methodology. There are three evaluation phases: (1) Evaluation: The presidents (or designates), who have been invited to submit their applications, will evaluate all applications; (2) Judgment: The representatives of the university leagues (e.g., AAC&U) and higher education-related media (e.g., newspapers, magazines), and the members of the WURI Evaluation Board will review the Evaluators’ evaluation scores; and (3) Final Check: The WURI Evaluation Board aggregates the recommendations of the Judges, checks the reliability of the contents in the submitted applications, and finalizes the entries in the “Global Top 100 WURI 2020.”
The HLU Board of Trustees consists of university presidents from the Netherlands, China, Russia, Germany, South Korea, USA and Finland. The mission of HLU is innovation in teaching and research in higher education institutions. Given its mission, HLU has formed an alternative ranking system called WURI. Instead of looking at statistics on research, internationalization and perception, it evaluates a university’s real contribution to society. It highlights creative and innovative approaches to university research and education.
The complete list of ranked universities can be found at http://www.wuri.world/download/rank/200611-WURI%20ranking_Seoul_Online_Conference_v1.pdf
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