“The interdisciplinary aspect of UCJC is something unique, and measuring it is a challenge for the THE ranking”

Nicolas Cletz, Regional Director of Southern Europe at Times Higher Education, visited Camilo José Cela University to learn about its facilities and its academic programme, based on innovation, interdisciplinarity and internationality. During his stay, Cletz explained in detail what the Times Higher Education rankings are and what criteria they use to carry them out.

“Times Higher Education is, originally, a team of journalists that is still there. We’re producing a lot of content related to Higher Education worldwide, and part of this content, part of that discussion is the rankings, the international rankings discussion,” Cletz explained during his talk with Francesco Sandulli, Vice-rector of Innovation at Camilo José Cela University in the Media Lab facilities of the university itself.

The two-fold value of university rankings

Cletz considers that, in his opinion, the value of the rankings is two-fold. “The first one is… from a university perspective, it is a tool for universities to understand how they perform, how they are doing, how they are comparing to other universities, and it’s also a window to the world, so it’s the way that the world is going to look at your university, how they’re going to know your university and, very often, is an entry door to your university”, said the Regional Director for THE.

On the different university rankings that exist today, Cletz thinks that it can even become confusing for the public, since nowadays there are many more international rankings than ten years ago. “Times Higher Education is, however, one of the most internationally recognised not only by universities and academics, but also by families and students, and also governments, it’s recognised at different levels,” said Nicolas Cletz.

Innovation, interdisciplinarity and internationality

Sandulli pointed out how the UCJC bases its model on the three pillars of innovation, interdisciplinarity and internationality, and took the opportunity to ask Nicolas Cletz how these three aspects are measured in a ranking. “That’s interesting, it’s very difficult sometimes to measure these three aspects, but I think that internationality is already measured in the main rankings, each one measuring the level of internationality of each university. I think innovation is something very interesting. We are currently seeing how our methodology allows us to measure the way in which universities innovate, and I think that the interdisciplinary aspect of your university is something very unique, and very interesting, I think that at the moment the THE is looking at interdisciplinary universities in a traditional way, so maybe you’re posing a challenge to Times Higher Education to measure that aspect, “adds Cletz.

Times Higher Education is the leading provider of data on university excellence in the world. It is the company behind the most influential university ranking in the world, with more than five decades of experience as a source of analysis of higher education and the performance of universities internationally. Its data and tools are used by many of the most prestigious universities in the world to help them achieve their strategic objectives.