Universities Merging: Improved Rank

Logo of the University of Lisbon

Logo of the University of Lisbon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Logo of the Technical University of Lisbon

Logo of the Technical University of Lisbon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The university where I got both my BS and MS from will soon cease to exist as a separate entity. The University of Lisbon and the Technical University of Lisbon are merging into one single institution.

The main reason (as I understand it from people at those institutions)  is that there are currently still too many institutional barriers to the cross-disciplinary work that many people are doing across these institutions and that it makes no sense to have two half-universities. A hundred years ago, the faculties were well-defined; nowadays, these divisions make less sense (you can easily imagine a 1950s administrator asking why would an engineer need to have a meeting with a medical specialist? Today, those interactions are crucial).

One interesting side effect, however, is that these institutions will shoot up in several international rankings of research institutes. Many of them do not correct for institute size, so if they measure research output, now it will be much larger: all those papers, all those citations, all those research awards that used to get split into two pots will now go to the same bin.

Nothing will have changed but the accounting. Still, a combined institution will climb many steps in the ranking ladder.

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2 thoughts on “Universities Merging: Improved Rank

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