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​​​​​​​2nd Maribor Academicus Event

Academic Excellence:
BETWEEN HOLY GRAIL AND MEASURABLE OBJECTIVES

​​International symposium  or​​ganised by University of Maribor and Shanghai Jiao Tong University

within the IREG Project on Academic Excellence

19-20 January 2015, Maribor, Slovenia


Higher education can importantly benefit from the rankings and league tables when used in a context with clear perspective of what ranking actually reflects (Prof. Jan Sadlak, President of IREG)


Active participants at the conference will be:
  •            Prof. Jan Sadlak, President of IREG,
  •            Prof. Gero Federkeil, CHE (Coordinator of Multi-Ranking),
  •            Prof. Nian Cai Liu,  Jiao Tong University in Shanghai (Author of the Shanghai ranking list),
  •            Prof. Seeram Ramakrishna,  National University of Singapore,
  •            Prof. Santo Fortunato,  Aalto University,
  •            Prof. Karin Stana Kleinschek, University of Maribor,
  •            Prof. Henryk Ratajczak, member of Czech Academy of Sciences,
  •            Prof. Edvard Kobal, Slovenian Science Foundation,
  •            Roberta Sinatra, PhD, Northeastern University,
  •            Tania Vichnevskaia, French National Institute for health (INSERM),
  •            Prof. Andrée Sursock, Senior Adviser at EUA,
  •            Prof. Øivind Andersen, University of Oslo.
Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, famous designer of legendary cars, once said that; "excellence never stands still. It's as forward moving as those who define it".  This motto is equally valid for academic excellence. The continuous drive for seeking excellence, together with curiosity and creativity, are principal movers of scientific advancement and educational innovation.

There is no agreed definition of "academic excellence" but all forms of quality assessment demonstrate that it represents foundation of reputation of the given university or research organization. Its maximization represents a steady element of institutional mission as well as objective of developmental policies, recruitment of faculty, collaboration, etc.

While recognizing the legitimate drive for achieving academic recognition, it needs to be recognized that modern science is confronted with legitimate concerns about the downside of excessive pressure and ethically spurious pressure to show success. It is therefore important to look at the assessment of academic achievements also from the point of view of transparency, honesty, and ethical standards.

In recent years, especially in the context of university rankings, excellence and reputation, are gaining new significance. While recognizing conceptual challenges various rankings are making efforts making subjective concepts to become "objective data" by conducting all kinds of surveys and bibliometric analysis. It is also the context in which study of expressions of academic excellence and measuring academic success draws a special interest.

One of expressions of academic excellence are "academic awards". A renewed attention to academic awards has in recent years been associated with use of them in the elaboration of university rankings, in particular to those used for Academic Ranking of World Universities [usually referred to as "the Shanghai ranking"].  It is therefore timely and relevant to look at the international diversity of expression of academic awards in order to get a more informed knowledge and formulate proposal for a more inclusive use of such awards.

Based on discussions at the previous Maribor Academicus Event - Mapping of Academic Excellence in the Context of Quality Assurance (10-12 October 2010, Maribor), IREG Observatory has launched a project analysing international scientific awards. The project is implemented by the research team at the Graduate School of Education of the Jiao Tong University in Shanghai. The findings of the project will be part of the 2nd Maribor Academicus Event.

Themes, debates and presentations ​​

The following topics have been identified for presentations and discussions at the meeting:​​​​
  • Mobility patterns of scientists and their influence on research performance;
  • Ways and appr​​oaches to measuring of academic success;
  • ​​Ethical context and dimensions of academic success and excellence;
  • ​​​Scientific awards of international importance: a presentation of "IREG List of International Academic Awards".

 Univerza v Mariboru