The UCLM advances among the best universities in the world while the Spanish University System goes backwards

The UCLM improves 9 positions according to the 2015 expanded edition of the Shanghai ranking

The 2015 expanded edition of the Shanghai ranking indicates that the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) is ranked 23 in the Spanish University System (SUE), having advanced two national positions within a year. This progress is also highlighted in the international scene, having advanced 9 positions to stand in the 748 position in the world. It is particularly significant that this progress has been made when the best Spanish universities have experienced an average decline of 14 global positions, according to the updated scientific information related to the 2014 edition.

The University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) is ranked 23 among 74 Spanish universities and 748 among 2,800 universities around the world, according to the 2015 edition of the Shanghai Ranking Expanded recently published by the research group EC3 Metrics and I-UGR rankings, formed by scientists from the Universities of Granada and Navarra, and signed by Domingo Docampo, professor at the University of Vigo. This classification is based on the Academic Ranking of World Universities, also known as Shanghai ranking, a benchmark to determine the quality of higher education institutions worldwide.

This is one of the most exclusive and demanding rankings of those made every year, only classifying those universities with strong research vocation by indicators such as university students who have won the Nobel Prize, the number of teachers who have this same distinction, articles published in journals such as Science and Nature, the publications from a closed list of 3,000 leading researchers or the annual scientific production according to the Web of Science, considering the 2014 updated information aforementioned.

Globally, the UCLM is ranked 748 in the 2015 edition, being at the 757 in the 2014 edition. To make public the improvement achieved in the ranking by the UCLM worldwide, it is necessary to analyze what has happened with the other universities in the Spanish University System (SUE). Analyzing the universities ranked within the first 1,000 universities worldwide (40 universities) in both 2014 and 2015 edition, the average decline is 14 positions in the world ranking. Therefore, in a worsening positioning context, derived undoubtedly from the cutbacks which have undergone the Spanish public universities in recent years, not only does the UCLM stands above the Spanish average but also provides enhanced positioning.

Professor Docampo, a specialist in scientometrics and responsible for this prestigious ranking, is one of the members of the panel of experts selected by the UCLM to streamline the process of reflection leading to the development of the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, having had the opportunity to meet the university community in a series of conferences held during the month of March in the four campuses of the University, as part of the preparatory work for the implementation of the Plan, which included the participation of 350 people, including researchers , managers and students.

The publication of this ranking brings to light the quality of people within the UCLM playing an important role in these results. The advances are due to the efforts being made by the research community in recent years, channeled through groups and research institutes, departments and centers at the UCLM and supported through strategic initiatives aimed at improving the capabilities of the Regional University, such as those contained in the Plan for Institutional Strengthening 2014-2015. A plan that represents an investment of 7.5 million euros in two years to support the university research mission, with actions such as the incorporation of research staff, awarding competitive grants to research groups, improving scientific and technological equipment, promotion of international mobility among researchers, as well as resources for departments, institutes and research services.

The Research is one of the six axes in the Plan for Institutional Strengthening, which provides performances in other areas also organized around strategic action areas such as Teaching, Services, Campus, university facilities and Social University Responsibility. The Plan for Institutional Strengthening 2014-2015 has a budgetary total allocation of 30 million euros for two years.

The Research mission is also supported by administrative staff through centers and specialized units such as the Unit for Research Management (UGI), the International Doctoral School (EID), or the Office of the International Excellence Campus on Energy and Environment (CYTEMA), coordinated by the Office of Research and Science Policy.

The drafting and monitoring of the Plan for Institutional Strengthening and the analysis of university rankings are conducted with the support of the Office for Planning and Quality (OPYC) and Budgeting Department of the University, under the coordination of the Vice – Chancellor for Economy and Planning.

Press Release Office, UCLM. Ciudad Real, September the 28th 2015.

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