The UCLM starts the groundwork for its Strategic Plan 2016-2020

Over 350 researchers attended specialist Domingo Docampo’s conference on Shanghai ranking

As part of the work leading to the development of the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, the University of Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) has convened its researchers to a series of meetings with the Domingo Docampo, professor at the University of Vigo and one of the most internationally recognized researchers on Scientometrics related to the Shanghai ranking.

In every presentation, chaired by the chancellor Miguel Angel Collado, professor Docampo has transmitted, to the teaching and research staff at the UCLM, that joining forces “not only gives visibility to the institution and improves its international projection but it also makes possible to access the Shanghai ranking. “This classification, which has been elaborated since 2003 by the Jiao Tong University in Shanghai (China) to determine the top 500 universities every year, has become the reference system worldwide on relative universities positioning, including their impact in areas such as obtaining research funds, attracting international students or hiring research staff from other countries.

Professor Docampo explained that this classification mainly measures the research field at universities using objective information, not data provided by them. In this regard, he noted that accessing to the exclusive club in which there are only a dozen Spanish universities nowadays “is not impossible for the UCLM” provided that certain factors meet. First “a lot of work is required as the indicators show the efforts made by everyone.” He also said the Shanghai ranking favors those who are starting to who are already consolidated, which means, according to the professor, a stimulus for the scientific activity researchers and integrated groups in new institutions. Moreover, Docampo stated that the Shanghai ranking takes into account the work done on Health or Experimental Sciences and, besides, it adds “double value” to everything published on Social Sciences. This “additional stimulus,” he said, can be especially used by the UCLM, which maintains “a good position” in the area.

In short, “the sum of all is what gets us into the Shanghai ranking” insisted Professor Docampo. The Chancellor has insisted on this idea at every presentation, held this week in Albacete, Toledo, Ciudad Real and Cuenca with the participation of over 350 researchers. Emphasising the importance of reaching up to 2020 “a better international position that will boost fundraising and attracting talent,” Collado underlined the value of the “collective work” because “we all contribute”. The chancellor also highlighted that the UCLM has a vocation and ambition to improve on its different academic missions at the service of society, using international rankings as a tool to direct these improving efforts rather than as purposes in themselves.

After professor Docampo’s presentation, which included guidance on the Shanghai ranking elaboration and on the international situation of the Spanish University System (SUS), has followed a debate moderated by the Vice Chancellor for Research and Science Policy, Julian Garde on applicable initiatives to UCLM, among which he highlighted the adoption of regional programs for attracting talent, incorporating research staff by the University, the creation of associated departments with the CSIC (according to the Spanish acronym), joint scientific publications with doctors of the university hospitals, the right choice of the media to publish the research results, or applying good practices when signing scientific publications. The Vice Chancellor for Economy and Planning, Manuel Villasalero, has been responsible for closing each meeting and provide their main findings, as well as indicating that this first meeting belongs to the preparatory work on the development of the Strategic Plan 2016-2020, which will be complemented with other meetings held, at short notice, in respect with other academic university missions in addition to research, such as academic training or innovation and technology transfer.

Press Release Office, UCLM. Ciudad Real, March 20th 2015.

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