University

freedom must be the criterion”, said the director of Sciences-Po Paris

5:55 p.m., September 17, 2022, modified at 1:48 p.m., September 18, 2022

For Mathias Vicherat, Director of the IEP in Paris,“Most major university rankings are no longer adapted to the challenges of our world”. “The Era is for Academic Freedom and Influence” environment, he adds. Two criteria he urges them to consider as prerequisites for appearing in the rankings.

Here is his platform: “Only a month ago, the latest edition of the Shanghai ranking appeared. He has been an authority in the international environment of higher education and research for almost 20 years. However, this evaluation has great prejudices: the preponderance of criteria in favor of the hard sciences, it must be a university that includes all disciplines…

Read our cheat sheet – What is the Shanghai Ranking?

At a time when international student mobility is renewed, most of the rankings of major universities are no longer adapted to the challenges of our world. It’s time for academic freedom and influence.​

On the occasion of Sciences Po’s 150th anniversary and in the framework of “academic freedom week”, I spoke with many presidents of international universities, ready to join our movement.

How can international rankings in 2022 ignore the issue of academic freedom and the efforts of universities like Sciences Po to welcome students and researchers in exile or refugees? While some regimes imprison academics – in Iran researcher Fariba Adelkhah has been detained since June 2019 – just on the pretext that their field of research is disruptive, I ask that respect for academic freedom be a condition for appearing in any university ranking. The international classification should also rank universities according to this criterion. At Sciences Po, we welcome 60 Ukrainian students in exile, as well as researchers from Ukraine and Afghanistan who cannot continue their work in their countries.

Universities must play their part in the effort to combat global warming, both in terms of reducing their carbon footprint and in terms of teaching

How can international rankings like the Shanghai one ignore environmental impact in 2022? Universities have a role to play in the effort to combat global warming, both in terms of reducing their carbon footprint and in terms of teaching students. At Sciences Po, we have introduced a compulsory course on environmental transition for our first-year students, and in a few months approximately twenty researchers specializing in this subject will join our permanent faculty.

The students of today and tomorrow are the craftsmen of repairing the world. Faced with the enormous challenges that lie ahead, let’s reinvent the criteria for evaluating universities and, in essence, rethink our value system together. »

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