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Coimbra Group supports the More Than Our Rank initiative

19 April 2024

As anticipated earlier this year, Coimbra Group is proud to announce its support of the initiative “More Than Our Rank” (MTOR) developed in response to some of the problematic features and effects of the global university rankings. Our endorsement is now publicly displayed on the MTOR website.

The Coimbra Group has long been discussing the multiple issues surrounding global university rankings and their significant increase since the foundation of our university network in 1985. A few months after our High Level Research Policy Seminar “Achieving Excellence at Universities: What does it mean in times of multiple crises?” (Brussels, 13-14 November 2024), Coimbra Group’s support of ‘More Than Our Rank’ marks a new milestone in our journey towards advancing a more complex, contextualised, and nuanced understanding of university excellence that better fits our times. The Initiative aligns seamlessly with Coimbra Group core values and our holistic approach to universities’ missions, as well as with our strong belief that any assessment/ranking should place equal importance on all disciplines, including the Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts.

There is a cultural transformation going on and we are fully aware that there is considerable work needed to change the landscape. Coimbra Group aims to take an active role in this change by bringing together the diversity of positions which co-exist across its membership and, when appropriate, by leading by example. By endorsing More Than Our Rank, we aim to foster open and honest discussions about issues that may challenge traditional practices and models in place at our member universities. We would like to enable our members to share experiences in a safe and supportive environment while keeping abreast with new developments and alternative pathways. Coimbra Group will also contribute to advocacy efforts in order to influence policies at various levels.

Our support for ‘More Than Our Rank’ goes hand in hand with our recent contribution to drafting the European Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment (2021-2022), our active participation in the CoARA ever since its inception (2022) as well as our endorsement of the Barcelona Declaration on Open Research Information (2024).

Coimbra Group’s support of ‘More Than Our Rank’ builds on its engagement to actively participate in the conversation on Open Science, which includes the debate on more open and transparent university rankings. We anticipate a fruitful collaboration with the signatories of More Than Our Rank and the other support organisations in order to drive meaningful progress in the higher education sector worldwide.

Some Coimbra Group members are already signatories of ‘More Than Our Rank’. We invite all Coimbra Group members to explore the initiative and consider the possibility to sign up as individual institutions.

Further information on ‘More Than Our Rank’: